Oct 10

VisualEyes: First Impression

      VisualEyes, is party game from Keith Dugald and Steve Pickering, that was released back in 2003.  Players roll a pile of ENORMOUS dice with pictures on each side and attempt to create words or phrases from the combinations on the board.  Depending on the result of the Fast Play/Slow Play dice determines the way in which this round will be played.  Fast play is a mad scramble to grab two dice shouting out a phrase or word.  If no one immediately objects to the suggested usage the player takes the two dice and places them in front of his play area.  this continues until all of the dice are collected or a majority of the players agree that there are no more words to claim.  The players then receive one point for each word that they created and if no one has reached 20 points, the dice are rolled to start a new round.  If the slow play face came up, VisualEyes is played like a re-imagining of the classic family word game, Boggle.  The rules are essentially the same as players race against the clock to create as many words/phrases from the faces of dice showing.  When time expires, players show their lists of words and compare notes. Any words/phrases that are on more than one player’s  list do not count for points.  Any words/phrases that are unique to a player’s list are worth 1 point each.  The game is played to 20 points, or the player with highest score above 20 winning.

My Review

VisualEyes is an entertaining family game that scratches your brain in an interesting place.  I love, and crush at Boggle, and while there are many similarities between the two games the picture element adds and interesting twist.  You can almost feel both sides of your brain trying to work at the same time as it engages the concrete (words) and creative (picture) parts simultaneously.  The few times that it has hit the table have been quite fun and I would rate it a 6.0 out of 10.0.  While it is certainly on the lighter side of gaming experiences, it is a fun family game that would probably be relatively popular at parties even with non-gamers.

My primary concern with VisualEyes is re-playability.  After time a few games smart players will memorize combos and just repeat those every time they crop up.  As a large part of the game’s fun is the creative element, this would most certainly reduce, and possibly even destroy that aspect of the game.  I think that the best way to get long-term enjoyment out of VisualEyes is to break it out every holiday season or only a few times a year so that it remains fresh and players can not just repeat what they have done before.

When it is all said and done, I did enjoy playing VisualEyes and it was an enjoyable and unique gaming experience.  If one bears in mind the warning about re-playability and is not turned of by that concern, I would recommend VisualEyes to families and light gamers looking for a fun game.  Oh yeah, and the ENORMOUS dice are awesome!!!

Normal sized dice was included for a point of reference!


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