I played skribbl.io which falls under the category of a “judging game” and was developed by ticedev. While skribbl.io can encompass a wide range of users, I would say that target users are likely younger as it is a computer-based game with messaging. Additionally, the target audience might be people that have a knack for drawing – making it easier to guess the word being drawn – or those who really can’t draw – making it entertaining to see their drawings and try to guess what they are.
Skribbl.io allows for up to 50 players in any one game room and also allows for play with random people or in a private room for friends. This distinction between public versus private does alter the experience – I would argue that if you are playing with friends, fellowship becomes a type of fun to be had as you can enjoy watching and interpreting what your friends draw and use inside jokes or references to help convey meaning in a way that is not possible with strangers. The game is conducted in rounds where one player selects their word to draw from a selection of 3 words and then proceeds to attempt drawing the word. There is a time limit option, and I found that utilizing the timer really made things more exciting (and somewhat stressful) from both the perspective of the “artist” and the guessers. There are unlimited guess attempts up until the time runs out, and in order to guess, you simply type in the chat. If you get it correct, others are notified that you got it. If you get it incorrect, your guess simply shows up in the chat. This visible guessing system is interesting as it leads to players being able to get new ideas or perspectives from the other players of what the drawing might be which may help them guess the word. Additionally, if you misspell your guess, the incorrect spelling shows up in the chat and might help your opponents guess the word when they previously would not have been able to guess it if they didn’t have an idea of what the drawing was. At the end of the round, points are allotted to the artist and the guessers – as the artist, your points are determined by how many players guessed correctly, and as the guesser, your points are determined by how quickly you guessed the word compared to the other players. The game also includes a like button and a dislike button which allow guessers to communicate their approval or disapproval of the current drawing, although the likes and dislikes have no bearing on the points given each round. After the allotted number of rounds, the player with the highest score (accumulated via drawing and guessing) wins.
I would categorize skribbl.io as facilitating both expression and fellowship, depending on who it is played with. Expression is always a part of skribbl.io as individuals get to showcase their drawing skills and guessers have to try and interpret the drawings. As I touched on earlier, I think that fellowship arises when you play with friends, especially if you play while in person on your devices or while on a Zoom or call. I tried both, and it was way more fun playing with friends. Playing with strangers just felt like I was going through the motions whereas playing with friends led to lots of laughter and funny drawings; people were also incentivized to either draw better for their friends or draw really badly as to make it extra funny.
I love that a game that requires something tactile like drawing was converted to be digital – it allows for you to play it and enjoy it with those that you might be separated from by distance. I also like that you have the option to play with strangers if you just want to pass the time and play a fun game. By nature of different people with various art skills and interpretation, the drawing element of the game makes it fun and replayable as each prompt and each drawing is different every time.