The judging game Skribbl.io is a free, online multiplayer drawing game akin to Pictionary. Its platform is a website and was created by @ticedev on Twitter.
Its target audience is anyone of all ages and skill levels — I’ve played the game with many groups, from coworkers for a work happy hour to my 15 year old little brother. The game’s design is very simple. Its graphics (such as the logo and profile icons for each player) resemble a kid’s drawing, and the design is very straightforward and simple, with most of the focus being on the drawing board that takes up half the screen.
The game requires 2-12 players. The game’s procedure is as follows: the game consists of three rounds, and during each round, every player takes turns drawing a given word. The rest of the players must guess the word as fast as possible within the time limit to earn points. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. Thus, players can take two actions depending on the turn: either drawing a given word, or guessing the word while another player is drawing. The player objective is both to race and outwit. The race component comes from competing and racing against opponents to be the first to guess the word correctly, and players must outwit each other to be the first to recognize the drawing. The outcome is a ranking of players based on the number of points earned, with one winner.
The main types of fun Skribbl.io creates are expression and fellowship. Skribbl.io encourages expression through drawing, as players are able to creatively represent their interpretation of the word. The game also encourages fellowship due to its competitive nature and ability to use the chat not just for guesses, but just to connect with other people. When I played, I observed some people using the chat to get to know each other (someone commented, “Where are you from?”). Overall, Skribbl.io’s drawing and multiplayer elements make the game fun.
This game works because of its simplicity. Because the aim of the game is simple, to guess the word associated with a drawing, anyone can join and have fun, regardless of skill level. Thus, it is a game that facilitates connection for all ages and abilities. Even if you can’t draw, it just makes the game funnier and more fun! The game is also successful because there are no lapses in activity — you must stay engaged for the entire game, as every player must either be drawing or guessing the word. This creates engagement for the entire duration of the game, not just during your drawing turn.
Compared to other similar drawing games, like Pictionary, Skribbl.io is unique because of its online platform. The website is highly convenient because of its platform — as a website, anyone can log on and play with strangers instantaneously, without needing to gather a group of friends. In addition, Pictionary is typically played with 2 teams competing against each other. On the other hand, Skribbl.io is a multiplayer game, with each person attempting to guess the word at a given time.
Players are not required to be vulnerable when playing Skribbl.io. This is mostly because the game is anonymous, if desired. Each player creates their own alias, and they are assigned an anonymous avatar/profile picture that disguises their identity unless they choose to specify it in their username. In addition, the players do not need to reveal any personal information, as the game only requires drawing the words provided, which are randomly generated generic words.