When Bob Ross: Art of Chill released last year, I laughed. How could this game get made?!? I mean, I loved the idea of it, but in a sarcastic way. Kinda like how I loved the idea of an Eggo card game based on Stranger Things. I thought it was something fun to point out on the store shelf, but something I would never own. Then, I started hearing good things, and eventually, I got my hands on it. And it was good! It wasn’t the most complex game in the world, but it was a good time and something cool to look at on the table.
So when I heard that Big G Creative was coming out with another game based on our favorite afroed painter, I was excited, but a little hesitant. Are they pushing it too far? I mean, how far can Bob Ross really carry you? But after playing Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents with several different groups of people, I can say that this game seems to capture the spirit of Bob a little better than the first, even if there are fewer game elements than in the first.
We Want Happy Paintings
In Happy Little Accidents, you and two to five of your friends are going to each grab three pieces of paper and draw a little design, squiggle, or doodle on each one of them. All the papers are then turned upside down and thrown into the middle of the table, at which point everyone grabs one paper at random. A topic is then chosen off of a card, and players have 30 seconds to turn the doodle in front of them into something that falls in that category. When time is up, players take turns sharing and explaining what they’ve drawn (usually followed by oohs, aahs, or laughter), and then everyone grabs another paper from the middle and does it all again.
Once everyone has completed three drawings, each person chooses one favorite among their own drawings and places it face-up in the middle, and it’s time to vote! Players get squirrel-labeled point markers to place on each of the other players’ drawings, with more squirrels going to the most appreciated drawings. After the voting is over, the squirrels are tallied, and the player with the most “little devils” wins!
Any Way You Want It To Be, That’s Just Right
Given that there’s actual artwork involved, I feel like Happy Little Accidents better encapsulates the Bob Ross theme than the first game did. Sure, that first game had quotes and painting and “happy trees”, but this feels like a game Bob would’ve actually wanted to have his fuzzy face on (and his face is actually fuzzy on the box). The game can be explained in seconds, and even those who feel they don’t have a creative bone in their body can have a good time. Honestly, I usually voted for drawings that were pretty bad because they made me laugh.
The game is quick, and it can play more people if you go and get more markers. I also think it’s very easy to include in the game the young and old alike. As long as everyone knows what the category means, they can all turn a doodle into a mediocre drawing of something.
People Might Look At You a Bit Funny
My concern about this game is about whether or not you really need it. I mean, the box consists of six tiny, colored markers and one black marker – this despite the fact that every player needs the black marker and you all end up having to wait to use it. You also get a teeny pad of paper (I’ve played the game about eight total times and it’s already run out) along with a deck of cards with the topic suggestions. These could both be replaced by items you probably already have in your house / your brain. The only unique thing this game really brings to the table would be the squirrel-based voting tokens, but you certainly could come up with another way to vote without using the tokens. All that being said, this is a nice little package, and I think it may make getting people to the gaming table a little easier.
Everyone Needs a Friend
I love the versatility this game has. When played with family, this game provides an opportunity for funny, cute drawings. When played with artsy people, creativity flows and mini-masterpieces are produced. When played with a bunch of dudes at a bachelor party, the game gets a little… risqué. Maybe Bob wouldn’t approve of that last one, but it’s still fun! And it allows the game to cater to its audience better than many others do. It’s not something that’s going to require deep thinking or tons of strategy, but if you came looking for a Bob Ross game to include that, you really don’t get it.
Overall, Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents is a nice addition to a game shelf. I don’t know that I’d recommend everyone purchase it because of the ease with which you could recreate it on your own, but for those looking to add a little bit more theme to their gaming experience, this is a good pickup.
You can find Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents at Target today.
Big G Creative provided us with a retail copy of the game for this review. This in no way influenced our opinion of the game.
- Easy to learn, easy to play
- Can accommodate more players than the box says
- Some nice Bob Ross-y elements
- You don’t really need the stuff in the box to play the game