Swap Ink, Stories, and Creativity in Party Game Tattoo Stories | Casual Game Revolution

Swap Ink, Stories, and Creativity in Party Game Tattoo Stories

Tattoo Stories

Can you make a tattoo design with a mermaid and a unicorn, featuring a city skyline and pie, all with a military theme?

A drawing party game from Bicycle, each round of Tattoo Stories has one player as the prospective customer selecting five features that the other players must incorporate into a drawing.


The cards are set in the center of the table within easy reach. Each card has an element or idea that can be represented in a tattoo such as ‘battleship’, ‘pun’, ‘video game reference’, ‘cake’, or ‘sea creature’. Each player takes a dry erase board and a marker.

Every round one player is the customer and the other players are the tattoo artists. The customer draws ten cards and then selects five he wishes to have combined into a tattoo design. A three minute timer is started and all the artist players attempt to draw a tattoo that incorporates all five of these design elements. While drawing, the artists are encouraged to ask the customer questions about these elements to help with the drawing such as ‘what is your favorite sea creature?’ or ‘which video game character do you most identify with?’.

After everyone has finished drawing or the time runs out, each artist explains her drawing to the customer and why she felt it would appeal to him. The customer then awards each card to the player he feels used that card’s element best or most creatively. Different artists can win different number of cards or even none at all.

The game ends once everyone has been the customer twice, at which point the player who has won the most cards wins the game.

Tattoo Stories Components


Tattoo Stories has a theme that sets it apart from other drawing games. It is definitely targeting a more adult audience, without its humor or components being risqué or crude. However, a few of its mechanics also set it apart — the game encourages you to get creative with the way you combine elements together, and allows you to come up with some really wild or funny drawings. It is a drawing game that is targeted a bit more towards players with some drawing ability, but the scoring system does help a little here as well.

The scoring system is excellent. We liked that multiple players can score; it makes it easier on the judge and more fun for the other players. If you had a really creative use for one of the elements you can win a card even if the overall drawing isn’t as good as someone else’s, while that player can still be rewarded with another card.

It is also an interesting twist that the players are supposed to customize their drawings based on questions and answers with the judge, making this as a good icebreaker game in addition to a general party game. This also helps everyone stand a good chance, even if one player is particularly close to the current customer and knows their tastes and preferences well, because everyone can ask questions about those tastes and preferences.

Since each round is timed, we did wish the game came with a timer of some kind rather than just relying on the players to supply one, but generally the components are fine, the box art is lovely, and we liked the large size of the drawing boards.

Tattoo Stories is a great party game for an older audience. There is plenty of humor value in the tattoos you come up with, and it’s very enjoyable to see all the crazy pictures the players draw, spurred on by the different combination of cards the judge can select.

Pros: Excellent scoring system, ability to ask judge questions as you draw

Cons: No timer included, harder for players who lack drawing skills

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.