Bob Ross was the famed painter whose television program has allowed generations of audiences to watch mystified while he skillfully unfolded landscape paintings with a paintbrush while spouting blue-collar wisdom with such confident gentleness it was practically spiritual. Similarly, Happy Little Accidents serves as party game in which everyone is a winner, one player just a little more so to make things interesting.
The basic tools of Happy Little Accidents are similar to other party drawing games, but the methods are unique. Players first doodle shapes and squiggles, whatever they like, on three slips of paper. The finished slips are all placed in the middle of the group facedown, and the game begins with each player drawing a slip at random for the first round.
While a timer runs, players add to the doodle to make it into a match of an item from a card, whether it be a concrete object or abstract concept: “cloud,” “old,” “leader,” “mud,” “realistic,” “baker,” “habit,” and beyond. While other drawing games are all about speedily getting recognition or precision, Happy Little Accidents is about creating whatever a player wants out of what appeared.
Players follow the drawing rounds three times with three different words. With 54 cards and 18 choices on each card, there will be many games of Happy Little Accidents before players need to repeat themselves. Players choose their favorite from their three doodles-turned-drawings and place them out front for the final round of voting. Since there are three options, players are thus not necessarily directly competing with each other but rather comparing apples and oranges and choosing a personal favorite kind of fruit.
After a review of the art from the drawing phase, players give each other tokens worth various points from one to three, marked by Ross’s famous pet squirrel, Peapod. Players grant three points to their favorite drawing, two for their next favorite, and one to the others. When all points are awarded, players add up their squirrels to see who the winner is. Althougheveryone has won in some fashion by creating something never before seen.
Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents is a party game for three to six players aged 10 and up. Younger players might join in, too, on the play of making doodles into new works of art even if they do not worry about the voting aspect. House rules and homemade tokens may adapt the voting to larger groups as well, making Happy Little Accidents something for any party, inviting anyone who would like to join in. With each game taking only 10 or 15 minutes, players will likely start up a new round as soon as the last one is done.