is the latest follow-up/spin-off of the popular Jackbox Party
series, a collection of humorous titles that are the spiritual descendents of the original You Don't Know Jack
, the trivia game with its own screwy charm. Does Drawful 2
live up to its fun party reputation? In a word...no.
His expression says it all.
If you have never played the original Drawful
, a small part of The Jackbox Party Pack
, then firing up Drawful 2
can be confusing. The starting menu has four choices: Play, Make Your Own, Settings, and Help. Choosing the first two will tell you to get your phone and sign up at jackbox.tv. I chose Play, signed on at jackbox.tv, entered my room number and a name, then drew an avatar for myself. I was then told to wait for others to join the room, so I waited....and waited...and waited.
As it turns out, up to eight people can play but only locally; there is no online multiplayer so you need multiple players and devices at home, or a Twitch account. Nowhere in the game are you told this. Going to the Help section on the menu provides nothing but a web address. This is all extremely annoying, because if you pay for a game on the Xbox One, you should be able to play it on the Xbox One. At the very least, one should be able to access instructions for gameplay when in the game. With two reluctant family members, a Windows phone, an iPhone, and an iPad, we were finally able to play.
The Play Menu
Once the game starts, a nicely voiced lady moderator welcomes players and instructs them to draw pictures reflecting the prompts that are given on their devices. Prompts can be very obscure, like "crying in the shower." Once the pictures are drawn, players move on to the next step. A picture will be displayed on the television screen and each player (except for the person who drew that particular picture) then types in what he or she believes it to be. Once everyone is done, the picture is again displayed, this time with the original prompt, all of the player answers, and a random prompt or two that is also thrown in. Now, players have to guess which one is the original prompt. All correct answers give points to both the guesser and the artist. Wrong answers give points to the prompt that "fooled" people, so there's an incentive to lead people away from the right answer with catchy little prompts of your own. Gameplay is easy; the phones respond well, and no downloads are required. A game takes maybe ten minutes to finish with three people.
You can even create you own prompts and episodes in Make Your Own mode so that the questions can be customized to the audience. Further customization options are available in the settings - Family Friendly, Audience Mode, Extended Timers, Require Twitch, and Censoring - meaning that even the default prompts can be somewhat tailored to the audience. As a simple party game at home on a cold winter's day, you might have fun with this with the family for a little while, but the game quickly becomes monotonous. If you don't happen to have any touch screen devices then you'll struggle, leaving you with Twitch streaming or manipulating the game via multiple web browsers on the PC.
Which do you think it is?
The achievements require that you do more than sit around the TV at home with your cell phones. The first seven achievements can be had in less than fifteen minutes. Two others can be had very quickly, too, if you have a Twitch channel. Streaming the game on Twitch with at least ten people in the audience nets one achievement while getting fifty likes in a single game can be received the same way. If you're not on Twitch, however (and uninterested in starting a Twitch channel), you can manipulate browsers on your PC in order to get these two achievements. The final achievement requires that you grind out fifty games. Depending on the number of players involved, this could be accomplished in three or four hours of straight up grinding.
will allow you to have fun with friends or family for a little while but boredom can quickly set in. The game can't be played on the console for which it was purchased; it requires a number of devices at home, a Twitch account, or the manipulation of a number of web browsers to be played, none of which is especially fun. The game can net players some quick gamerscore -- most of the achievements can be had in a matter of minutes while the last one requires a few hours of grinding. Unfortunately, the game offers nothing innovative or entertaining; it's simply a way for the company to make a quick buck based on better games in the series.
- No instructions
- Peripherals, Twitch or multiple browsers required
The reviewer spent two to three hours playing, trying to play, and manipulating browser windows to receive 7 of the game's 10 achievements. A copy was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.