Critical Play: Competitive Analysis [Charades]


Charades is word guessing and acting out clues. In the first round, you can draw your word, in the second round you can act it out, and in the last round, you can only say one word associated with your word. Players typically take turns acting out words or phrases silently, while their teammates or opponents try to guess what they are acting out. Charades is a analog game, although you can play digital versions in mobile iOS or Android. 

  1. Mechanics:
    1. Charades typically uses physical gestures, body movements, and facial expressions to convey clues without using words.
    2. There is a point system to which teams can get more points for guessing more of the words, and the points sum up at the end of each round.
    3. Each player acting on behalf of their team picks out a random work from a basket, which adds to the excitement of not knowing what will happen.
    4. Time is limited to 1 minute per person acting out, so there is constraint to overcome.
    5. There can me multiple teams of around 3 people each. Inner and outer team dynamics
  2. Fun promised to the player: Charades promises the players a fun by providing an interactive and social game where players can showcase their creativity, imagination, and communication skills. It encourages teamwork, communication, and makes players laugh especially as they are trying to act out their word. As they are laughing though, there is a sense of urgency to go through as many words as possible, so teams are always engaged.
  3. Creating fun: Given that each round has different rules of how to guess the word, there is escalating difficulty as the game progresses for all teams. Hence, even if you have figured out how to best work with your team given the current rule of how to guess/act, the next round becomes novel and the fun is inspired by the new challenge to adapt.
  4. Graphic design decisions: The fun about Charades is the graphic design, i.e. the cards of the game, are made by the players themselves. The harder words they write, the more difficult it can be for their own team or other teams to guess, so it’s “all in this together” mentality that brings the right words to act out.
  5. Differentiation from other games: Charades differentiates itself from other games in its genre through its unique mechanics of using physical gestures and expressions to act out clues, instead of relying on spoken words. This is similar to our own game, as players need to use their senses to figure out what is in the drink.
  6. Handling abuse: As Charades is a social game that requires players to interact and communicate with each other, abuse or inappropriate behavior can be a concern. For instance, a player can write a very offensive word, almost forcing the player to act out something that might offend the group. In that case, the players know that they are in their right to opt out of the word and even have a discussion about removing it completely for the bank of word.s
  7. Improvements: To make Charades better, some potential improvements could include introducing special cards or power-ups to add strategic elements to the game. For instance, before going up, the team could draw a card that could give them 30 seconds more, 30 seconds less, the ability to read two words at once. It could also have one additional 4th round where you can use any of the 3 previous rules: word, drawing, action, to express a new bag of words that has never been seen.

Overall, I really like charades because it’s a game that doesn’t need any materials, it’s customized by the players themselves and allows for flexible group sizes and rounds!

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