5 Steps To Throwing An Epic Drawful 2 Party
What is there to say about Jackbox Games that hasn't already been said?
The company, the minds behind the brilliant You Don't Know Jack series of trivia games of the 90's and early 00's, has seen a massive resurgence in recent years after rebranding themselves as the go-to indie studio for fun, wacky, and madcap party games.
This fall, Jackbox will release The Jackbox Party Pack 3 to the delight of social gamers everywhere. But to tide us over, they recently released Drawful 2 -- a more fleshed-out and updated version of a game found in the original Jackbox Party Pack released in 2014.
After being ever-so-kindly provided with a copy of the game for review purposes, I promptly decided that the best way to review a game like this would be to experience it as the developers intended: drunk, cursing, and surrounded by friends.
At the end of this article I've embedded the video of the party (where we also took a short break to play a card game) for your viewing pleasure, but before you watch, here are a few tips so that you can host your own amazing Drawful 2 party.
1. Purchase Drawful 2.
The first step to hosting a party where you and your friends will be playing Drawful 2 is purchasing the game -- because if you don't, you won't be able to play and the party will be a bust and all your friends will hate you probably.
So log onto Steam, open up the PlayStation Store, or browse over to the Xbox Marketplace and buy the game. Do it now. Trust me. It's amazing. You won't be disappointed.
2. Invite Your Friends Over (Even If They Live 500 Miles Away)
One of Drawful 2's best features is the fact that you don't have to be in the same room as the other players. During our stream, two of my friends that live in California jumped into the game, following along via Twitch. There's even a setting that extends timers to account for the few seconds of lag that occurs while broadcasting.
The only downside to this is that you can't mercilessly make fun of those players in person when you beat them, you have to either stream the insults to the Internet or simply just harass them on Twitter. So, y'know, just be prepared for that.
3. Know What You're Getting Into
One of my guests last night remarked that the game was pretty much a combination of Pictionary and Balderdash. The way the game works is that players receive prompts that they must draw. Each drawing pops up on the screen in turn, and players type in what they think the drawing is supposed to be. Then, each player's answer for what they think the drawing was supposed to depict shows up onscreen, along with the actual prompt that the artist was given. Players can receive points for either picking the actual prompt or fooling other players into picking their own guess. In addition, artists score points when other players correctly guess the actual prompt.
It's a simple game, but it's executed flawlessly -- thanks to a few design decisions that really heighten the party vibe.
First of all, there's no undo or erase function. If you fuck up while drawing, that's on you, homie. Make it work. It's best to keep this feature secret, though. The look on your friends' faces when they ask you "where's the eraser", and you tell them that there isn't one, will be priceless.
Second of all, the prompts you get are...well...weird. Prompts I received during the party included "Milkshakes from the milkshake tree", "Some kid", and "I pee music notes". Oh, and if those aren't weird enough for you, you can also custom-create your own prompts and structure your own game that way.
Thirdly, in a first for the series, Drawful 2 now features 2 colors instead of just one. So, you know, there's that.
If you've played Drawful, Drawful 2 doesn't really mess with the formula all that much -- and that's not a bad thing, since the formula works really well.
4. Charge Your Phones (And Have Chargers Handy)
Drawful 2, like most of Jackbox's party games, is played using players' own smartphones or tablets. This is great, because it's really hard to draw using a PS4 controller.
That said, before your friends come over, make sure that they know to bring their devices with them, and to make sure that they'll be charged when they arrive. The game takes place in a browser window and doesn't require any apps or plugins to be installed, so it doesn't drain battery that badly, but nothing puts a damper on a party quite like a player dropping from the game because their phone is out of juice.
5. Realize The Game Is Most Fun When You Don't Care About Winning
This game has a lot in common with Cards Against Humanity, in that the real joy of the game doesn't necessarily come from winning, it comes from laughing at the crazy shit your friends come up with. It's a special feeling, and Drawful 2 recognizes this by allowing players to award likes to answers that they may not have voted for, but find hilarious nonetheless. At the end of the game, those likes are tallied up, and the player with the most of them is honored alongside the winner of the actual game.
Now, below, you'll be able to see what it looks like when a host puts all of it together. Be warned, it gets NSFW, but only because I had to draw what it looks like when someone pees musical notes.
Be sure to tweet us @GameSkinny if you're planning on holding your own Drawful 2 party, and let us know how it goes! If you've played Drawful or Drawful 2 already and have thoughts on the game, also feel free to share them in the comments. In the meantime, I have a hangover to nurse. Step 6 to throwing an epic Drawful 2 party: stay hydrated.
Disclosure: Drawful 2 was reviewed(?) using a promotional review code obtained from the publisher.