Critical Play – Quiplash

For my critical play, I decided to analyze Quiplash which is a group, digital card game similar to Cards Against Humanity. As detailed on the website, the suggested player count is 3-8 players and the approximate game time is 15 minutes. The premise of Quiplash is simple and operates in rounds. At each round, two players receive a fill-in-the-blank prompt and they try to write the funniest response to the prompt. Then, (under a countdown timer) the other players in the group vote for the funniest answer. If all players vote for a single card, then whoever wrote the answer gets bonus points. In addition to the main players, the game allows for an audience of up to 10000 people who can also vote for cards. This feature might be attractive for individuals or groups who can reach large audiences such as streamers or YouTubers. However, I could see the audience feature also being useful in normal group settings for those who don’t want to put effort into writing answers.

The game overall is very engaging in a group setting and operates at a fast pace. Only having two answers on the screen at a time felt like a good design choice since it simplified the voting process (compared to having three or more answers on the screen). One moment that felt particularly effective was when someone would answer with an inside joke. It seems like the game benefits if the players in the group already know each other but is likely still fun even in settings where no one knows each other. I found that the game overall facilitated very loose and friendly debate and it was fun to see people’s reactions to particularly silly or provocative cards. Overall, much of the game dynamic consisted of all the moments in between the actual actions of answering a card or voting for a card but it was also this dynamic specifically that made the game particularly enjoyable. 

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