Title: Drawful 2
Available On: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Developer: Jackbox Games
Publisher: Jackbox Games
Official Site: Jackbox Games
Release Date: June 21st, 2016
Where To Buy: Xbox Live, PSN Store, Steam
Having thoroughly adored Jackbox Party Pack 2 (Check out the review here) and spent countless, perhaps a few inebriated hours with the game; I found myself ready for the next collection from Jackbox Games. Although the fully fledged sequel is still a few months away, another Jackbox title has emerged as a standalone title in the form of Drawful 2. However, despite embodying the Jackbox spirit this albeit cheaper title lacks the charm and versatility the core series possesses.
The original Drawful appeared on Jackbox Party Pack and due to the popularity of the title, has emancipated itself away from the collection. It is a bold move as the strength of the Party Pack is the ease of being able to switch between different formats as the climate of the audience alters. Thankfully, Drawful 2 is accessible and imaginative allowing the mood of the players to dictate how the game will play out.
If you have played Pictionary, Drawful 2 will resonate with you. Playing with up to 8 players and having a possible 10,000 audience members spectating (more on this later); you will soon be drawing bizarre scenarios with almost any smart device on the premises. What makes this entire series a success and an inspiration for other similar titles is the ease of entry. Laptop, smartphone or tablet; you have a controller. By simply accessing the Jackbox website and entering the room code, within seconds you will have joined the game. As you wait for others to join, you can design your very own emblem which will be broadcast on the screen and depending on the age of the group could be a cute animal or… you get the idea.
Two game modes are present although they are fundamentally the same. Players will be greeted with a phrase or a rundown, which in turn they will need to draw. This term will cleverly appear on everyone’s device as they begin their creation. In true Jackbox style expect your artistry to be challenged with ‘party soup’ or ‘the proper way to eat a rat’ being just a couple of the seemingly endless options given to you.
Once everyone has inputted their masterpieces, which is accompanied by hilarious sound effects, Drawful 2 displays each piece of work on the screen. Players now have to concoct their own witty tagline for the artwork in the hope of trifling others. If another participant selects your answer, you amass the points whereas the artist will accumulate points if others select the true statement. The aforementioned ‘party soup’ inspired other phrasings such as ‘birthday coffee’ or even ‘soup party’.
Once a round is completed, an identical bout follows. The game concludes with the player who received the most points, be it through drawing or phrasing, being crowned the winner. A nice bonus touch is the award for the most liked creations. If throughout the game, a particular answer or drawing tickles your fancy, you can show some appreciation for it without affected the overall scores.
It is a shame that the experimentation seen in the creations has not been utilized in creating varied rounds. The remaining game mode I mentioned earlier actually allows you to create your own game. This can be done in two ways, which are both equally fun. As a group, you can each formulate scenarios which will be distributed to the other players when the game begins or if you would prefer, you can create a game alone. Sitting silently, creating a plethora of ideas would be rather unsociable so thankfully, you can create one prior to the party and load it when necessary.
The deciding factor as to how much you will enjoy Drawful 2 is the willingness of the participants. Drawful 2 asks a lot of the player and to maximize the fun, everyone needs to reciprocate this feeling. Craftsmanship is the second important trait as drawings need to be palpable for others to firstly guess what the creation is and then devise their own, witty remark. The group I played with were fully committed and as such, the experience was great. However, as the attention started to waiver, so did the enjoyment for everyone else.
The aspect that I missed most was the vibrant panache seen in the main series. Drawful 2 absolutely has a charm with an adorable hand-drawn cat arm indicating the timer and the endearing, elevator music filling the silence in the room; yet it lacked something. The Jackbox host, who is synonymous with the series, is absent here. I miss his infectious enthusiasm igniting the life within the party. When playing Drawful 2, there was a lot more silence.
Albeit lacking the charm, Drawful 2 does embrace the other aspects of what makes the series work. Aside from the smart device integration, the ability to stream on Twitch is laughably easy. Although an audience of 10,000 will only be attainable by the biggest YouTube celebrities, the opportunity to have others watch your game and offer their input it an exciting prospect.
Drawful 2 is a thoroughly enjoyable experience and will instantly become the main attraction of the party. However, the longevity will vary upon the participants. Drawful 2 is cheaper than the assortment of games seen in the Jackbox Party Pack yet I cannot help but feel the wrong title has established its independence. BombCorp, seen within Jackbox Party Pack 2, would have felt more appropriate becoming a solo experience and, although I adored Drawful 2, waiting for Jackbox Party Pack 3 might be the smarter option.
- Gameplay: Drawing Based Party Game
- Graphics: Charming, Simple Hand-Drawn Art
- Sound: Amusing Sound Effects, Lacking Jackbox Announcer
- Presentation: Lacks Variety Of Main Series
- Ease of Access
- Creative Content
- Charming Presentation
- Lacks Variety
- Requires Full Attention