Critical Game Play: Phrase Frenzy

Phrase Frenzy

The theme of Phrase Frenzy is a mix between hot potato and team-based guessing games like Pictionary, Heads-Up, and Charades.

Phrase Frenzy uses several mechanics that are heavily based in time expiration and teamwork. The goal of the game is to not be holding the phone when the timer expires, and the mechanics and proficiency of teamwork and team guessing is aimed at preventing your team from holding the phone when it expires, like a hot potato scenario. The game also requires each individual player to be well-versed in explaining the word through circumlocution, using scenarios, synonyms, and explanations to their advantage. Phrase Frenzy provides users with a sense of fun through urgency and stress.

The game has very few graphic design decisions and most of the game relies in its ability to be very accessible to new players, with little to no instruction. The graphic design decisions are minimal, with a plain text card and a gradually ticking clock that sits in the upper right hand corner of the game screen. The clock reinforces the game, as it gives a sense of urgency and franticness, which the game relies on to give players the most amount of fun. 

The game differentiates itself from other games in its genre, as it has a ticking clock that enables users to feel “frenzied” and urgent. It combines hot potato with games like Celebrity and Pictionary, with a core mechanism of being able to explain words in a different way. 

This game has no mechanisms for handling abuse, as it is usually played between friends and acquaintances. While it’s a social game, most of it is played in person and “abuse” of the game is minimal – there’s not much cheating you can do besides looking at the screen. 

I would make this game better by introducing new ways to explain phrases – drawing or acting are two specific avenues we can go down to give this game a new spin. In addition, I’m also interested in improving the graphic design of the game, as I believe it can benefit from a backstory/plot/premise, as well as a complete revamp in the UI/UX portion of the app!


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