Critical Play: Competitive Analysis – Peng Hao Lu

My team’s game features drawing as a key gameplay mechanic, which is shared among several other popular games including, Gartic Phone, A Fake Artist Goes to New York, and Pictionary. For my competitive analysis, I will be looking at’s primary form of fun is fellowship, with expression being the secondary. The game facilitates you spending time with your friends, drawing prompts and having fun laughing at bad drawings or being amazed at good ones.

As a player, you’re able to choose a pseudonym and an avatar from a list, whereas allows avatar customization which I prefer.

During room creation, players can choose from a variety of prompt themes spanning from video games to occupations. These themes are a great addition because they appeal to specific audiences that have already been carved out by the media they’re referencing, whether it be Pokémon fans or Batman fans. Players are also allowed to create custom themes by adding their own prompts. This degree of customization allows players to better fit the general premise of the game to their interests and make it more fun for them. To win a game of, a player must accumulate a certain number of points and this threshold can be adjusted during the room creation. The game does not allow you to adjust the amount of time a player is given to draw the prompt, which I would have liked to see.

For drawing, players are given tools for making various shapes and lines as well as multiple colors. These tools make drawing easier, but may also be removing some of the fun since the main mechanic is drawing. In my opinion, it would be more fun if there were no shape/line tools.

For harder words, guessers receive hints where some letters of the prompt are revealed alongside blank spaces for the other letters in a fashion similar to Wheel of Fortune. Guesses that are close to the prompt also give you a notification saying that you’re close to the answer. handles abuse through user reporting. Players can report the current drawing on the screen, as well as report or kick individual players. The buttons for reporting or voting to kick a player are not visible until you click on the player, which may suggest to unfamiliar users that you are unable to report and kick others. The game has public rooms with anonymous players that do not need to create accounts, so abuse is not necessarily avoided with these methods. Although the buttons aren’t particularly visible, it is good that you can kick/report players that aren’t drawing to prevent chat abuse.

One feature that I think would be great is being able to view the players’ drawings after the game has been won. A lot of the fun I’ve had is watching my friends’ wacky drawings and seeing a collage of them after the game has ended would be a perfect way to tie up the end of the game.

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