Critical Play: Bluffing, Judging and Getting Vulnerable… –


Platform: Website

Creator: made by @ticedev

This game genuinely seems to be aimed at anyone who can draw, read, and spell, especially since they’ve added more languages to the game! I think the fact that the words you can select range from really hard to easy words allows players to keep the game simple for younger audiences or amp up the difficulty for more advanced players. Additionally, it can be played with friends or strangers since there is the option to join a random game or create a private game.

An interesting part of the game was the number of players was dynamic. People could join and leave the game freely. Joining late only affects a player’s standing in the ranking since they start with less points than the other players. The number of players in a game can range from 2 to 12. The larger the group, the slower the game will go since there are 3 rounds and each player draws each round.

Rounds work as follows, the platform automatically rotates through the players, going from the bottom of the list to the top. On a player’s turn they select from 3 words to draw. An example of the range of words you are provided, one of the words I chose was “snow” which is fairly easy to draw but some other words I was offered were “Chrome” and “James Bond”. The player drawing gets 75 seconds to draw the word using a palette of colors, brush sizes, and erasers. The person drawing gets the most points if they get the most players to guess the word quickly. The other players try to guess the word the quickest. To do so, they type their guesses into the chat on the right. The game provides you with hints hangman-style which tells the players how long the word is. If players are having hard time guessing a word, the game will start revealing letters to give players more hints.

My favorite part of the game is that you can see all of the other player’s incorrect guesses in the chat but as soon as someone guesses correctly is just says “[Alias] has guessed the word!”. This is a cool feature because it creates a more collaborative experience. If you are lost on the word you can learn from the guesses of the other players to be guided in the right direction, however there is still an element of competition since you don’t want to give players too much of a hint and have them guess correctly before you.

This game combines a couple types of fun. The drawing provide an element expression. There is an element of discovery since you are trying to piece together what the word is using the hints, the other players, and the drawing. The chat provides fellowship since players help each other guess the right word and also use the chat to just chat and connect. I saw people having cute conversations to get to know each other in the chat. I think the game is even more fun when you play with friends. I played this game during quarantine with my dance team and we all joined a Zoom while we played, which allowed us to give more commentary and laugh together at bad drawings and ridiculous guesses. The chat in the game can feel a bit lifeless at times. I think allowing people to use their microphones and cameras in private games would be a nice addition to the game. It might be dangerous to have that feature in the random rooms but for people who already know each other it enhances the experience.

Some chats happening during my game

The game works because every player is involved in the game play at all times. There is never a time to tune out. The drawing element is fun and offers a good challenge because the words can be really difficult to draw. I also really like that you have to guess in a chat. If your guesses weren’t visible to other players I think this game would feel too isolated – there would be no reason to interact with the other players. Another nice element is you don’t have to get vulnerable at all in the game if you don’t want to. Each player chooses and alias to play the game and is automatically assigned an avatar, making each player anonymous. There’s no part of the generic game that’s inherently personal since the game generates the words and most of the chat surrounds guessing the words. Players have the freedom to use the chat as they choose to joke around and get to know each other. I think the vulnerability can come out more in the private rooms when you know the other players and can create your own words that are relevant like inside jokes.

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