Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Monday 12 February 2018

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Doodle Rush

Game: Doodle Rush

Publisher: Brain Games

Designer: Adam Porter

Year: 2017

Doodle Rush is the next game coming from Brain Games, a publisher most noted for Ice Cool, which won the Kinderspiel des Jahres in 2017. Brain Games definitely primarily design games for kids and do not appear to have had another big hit since Ice Cool. That said, we really enjoyed King Frog, a game that we picked up at the UK Games Expo in 2017 and that we’ve had great success with when we’ve introduced it to others. However, we’ve not seen it gain any popularity outside of when we share it.

Doodle Rush is a game designed by a British designer, Adam Porter, and it released in small quantities at Essen 2017, with a wider release coming soon. It’s a game of fast paced drawing, lots of shouting and a fair amount of despair. It plays out in real time, lasting a maximum of 10 minutes, in six 60 second phases. It’s a party style game that probably works best for families or groups of adults.

So, grab your markers, and up to 5 friends - you’ve got just 60 seconds to try and draw 6 fantastic works of art before displaying before an audience of your peers!


Doodle Rush consists of 6, 1 minute long, rounds which alternate between drawing and guessing rounds. During a drawing round you will be attempting to sketch out as many of your words as possible on your drawing pads. During a guessing round everyone will be shouting voer each other trying to guess what players have drawn in order to gain points.

At the start of a game of Doodle Rush each player is handed a dry-erase marker, 6 drawing boards and 2 of the double-sided clue cards. These clue cards have a hard and an easy side, so you have to agree beforehand which side you are going to use. Once everyone is set up the sand timer is turned over and all players have 1 minute to get drawing, you could potentially finish drawing all 6 words in 1 minute, but if not you can finish them or enhance pictures in later rounds.

Once the first drawing round ends the sand timer is turned over and a guessing round begins. During the guessing round players will reveal all their drawn pictures. Looking at other players pictures you can guess what they are, if you are correct you can take the picture, if you are wrong then the player who drew it is allowed to tell you if you are close/far/completely wrong. At the same time players may be guessing what you have drawn and you will need to reply to them to help them get the right answers.

This repeats until the end of the third guessing round, at which point players will score 1 point for every correct guess they made during the game, and then lose 1 point for every drawing they made that no-one managed to guess!

Doodle Rush set up, ready to begin.
Amy’s Final Thoughts

Doodle Rush's main selling point is its simplicity. The game is very intuitive and easy to explain to new players. There is nothing inherently scary for non-gamers in the box, which is always a big help with a party game. Doodle Rush will play in under 10 minutes every time, even including set-up and teaching, which makes it a great filler for when you just have a couple of minutes before the pizza arrives!

Attempting to draw 6 things in a minute is fun, you end up with ridiculous drawings even from the more artistically minded, simply because there is no time to go back and correct mistakes. Especially on the hard side of the cards where you have more abstract concepts to draw, Doodle Rush really can push you.

Unfortunately the same isn't always true of the guessing phase. Having 1 minute for 6 people to shout over each other, both trying to guess and respond to guessers can devolve into chaos. It's pretty common for someone to get a correct guess only for another player to shout out that they guessed that earlier/last round. It's hard to think of another way of doing the guessing phase without it becoming clunky, but it has to be said that this phase detracts from the game, which is unfortunate, because it is half the game.

Doodle rush is a light party game, and it fills that niche very well. It isn't going to hold peoples attention forever, but for groups who are more extroverted and willing to shout over each other then it should be a big hit.

OIn;y having 1 minute to draw things can result in some very minimalist drawings.
Fi’s Final Thoughts

For me, Doodle Rush was a great concept for a quick party game, with a guaranteed length and super simple rules that mean anyone can jump straight in. I enjoy drawing games and the idea of a real-time game where everyone is always involved and there is no downtime sounded great.

We’ve played Doodle Rush as a group of four with different friends, as well as taking it to my work board gaming group for an audience of non-gamers. Our friends did not enjoy it, not really liking the stressful rush or the pressure to draw well. My work group are more laid back and definitely had fun with the game, but weren’t blown away. Both groups have fallen in love with Telestrations in the past and I think Doodle Rush just can’t compete with this golden goose of drawing games.

The main drawback I see in Doodle Rush is the simultaneous guessing phase. I think I understand why the guessing phase was designed this way, because there is both points value in listening so that you get rid of cards, as well as in shouting so that you win cards from other people. However, with one minute, most well drawn cards are easily guessed (at least on easy mode) and that means that you probably zoned out an early correct answer because you were too busy shouting at someone else and that original guesser can get quite annoyed when you hand the card to another player who you heard more clearly.

I don’t think Doodle Rush is going to hit the table very much in the future because it doesn’t have the staying power with the groups we play with. I think perhaps it just suits sillier groups than hours, or even a board game café environment where it could be an easy warm up game for slightly larger groups.
The Easy side tend to have objects or animals, while the hard side tend to have concepts or activities that are much harder to convey in mono-colour speed art!

The Good
  • Speed drawing is a great way to ensure that drawing ability is less of a factor in winning the game.
  • As with many drawing games, Doodle Rush creates a whole lot of laughs with the right group of people.

The Bad
  • The guessing phase is chaotic and could easily lead to arguments with a group who are taking it too seriously or with smaller children who feel it is unfair.

The Verdict
5.5/10 Doodle Rush has a great concept, but we feel that the guessing phase needs some more structure to help avoid any arguments around the table.

Doodle Rush was a review copy kindly provided by Brain Games.

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