Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents

I was a little late to the party with my appreciation of Bob Ross; I don’t recall ever seeing The Joy of Painting, his wonderfully chilled out and encouraging show, until relatively recently. It wasn’t widely available in the UK until the popularity of streaming services really exploded here – and after hearing so many good things about the late artist from my American friends, I couldn’t wait to find out what all the fuss was about. The more I see and read about Ross, the more I realise that his untimely passing in 1995 truly robbed us of a wonderful human being.

His estate do seem to be great at keeping his memory alive, however, with a steady stream of merchandise bearing his name and likeness – and what’s more, they seem to be going about this the right way, with products that I’ve no doubt the man himself would have loved.

Happy Little Accidents isn’t the only Bob Ross game out there – with the excellent Art of Chill being the other – but it is the simpler of the two on offer. It’s also less ‘board gamey’ in its mechanics, being a more Pictionary-style affair with drawing as its central mechanic.

All players choose a colour of pen and then draw a random squiggle on one of the small pieces of paper included with the game. These are then randomly assigned to another player, with everyone then drawing a picture based on a word chosen from a card. After three rounds, each player choose their favourite doodle from one of the three they’ve drawn, then players rank their favourites using cute little Bob Ross/Squirrel tokens and the player with the most points wins.

Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents — box and components

It really couldn’t be simpler. It’s a lot of fun and, importantly, it’s a game that players of any age can near enough instantly grasp and have fun with, regardless of their skill level with drawing. The components are decent (though the included pens aren’t the best, it’s easy to just use your own coloured pencils or pens), with the charming little tokens being pretty nice – and the box having a pleasingly fuzzy Bob Ross afro and beard that’s a really neat, striking touch.

It probably won’t appeal to more serious gamers, who are more likely to succumb to the easygoing, slightly more in-depth charms of Art of Chill. For less serious gamers or for a game that you just want to break out and have a good time with, however, without the hassle of learning too many rules or for much younger players, you could do a lot worse than checking out the charmingly packaged Happy Little Accidents.

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