Sunday, July 1

Review: Drawful 2 [Nintendo Switch eShop]


My family has always been big on the party games made by the folks at Jackbox Games, though on a per game basis the love can vary pretty wildly from person to person. One of the more divisive game types they offer are the drawing games as some people don’t mind the somewhat limited controls and silly pictures that result but some do. The original Drawful was then definitely a middle-of-the-road title overall but we were curious to see what this sequel would bring to the table. It turns out not a whole lot, but for the people who appreciate this style of game it’s possible that the customization options could be quite compelling.


As you may have guessed Drawful involves everyone getting to draw on their cell phones/tablets/laptops, using the general format the Jackbox games have gotten down solidly. In this case, everyone gets a prompt and has a limited amount of time to work with their 2 colors to try to draw something resembling the challenge they’re given. Each person’s picture is then revealed and everyone gets to put down what they think the picture is… sort of. The real agenda is to less try to get it “right” in this phase and more to put up something plausible you think the other people in the room will nibble on. This can be tricky at first but if you know your friends and family you may be able to tap into patterns in how they approach things. Once those tentative answers are all in all guesses are put on the screen along with the original prompt and everyone gets to vote on which they think is correct. You get points for throwing people off, guessing correctly, or when people get the right prompt when you’re the original person who drew the picture.

Now, if you’ve played the original Drawful you’re probably thinking this sounds precisely like the original, and it is. The difference, and it does greatly affect how the game plays, is that the prompts in this version are far more odd and elaborate, less dealing with simple objects and concepts and more asking you to draw things that you’d normally never try to draw (How about “scurvy”? Or “Flute band”? Of course everyone knows that those look like) or possibly ever even conceive. This can make things interesting but it can also, at times, make the original prompt stand out like a sore thumb at times once everyone catches onto the new gag. Another major difference is that you’re able to construct your own packs for people to enjoy, and this is a terrific choice if you’re having a party with friends who may have common interests or knowledge.


While it can be fun recommending it is a tricky proposition. Overall I’d say spending some extra money and getting a full-on party pack would be your best bet, whether it is the one that includes Drawful or not. The relative price difference isn’t large and having some variety is really a better option. For people who may enjoy the original Drawful already whether you really need this one is probably most dependent on whether you think you’ll use the custom prompts or not. If not the value proposition dwindles a bit. There’s nothing wrong with the game, it’s just a very hit or miss proposition.

Score: 6.5

Pros:

  • With a group of rowdy friends these games always tend to be fun
  • A lower price due to it being a stand-alone title
  • The ability to make your own custom prompt games is a great option, if you’ll use it


Cons:

  • The relative price to get a full Party Pack and have more options, especially when they go on sale, isn’t that much higher
  • For the most part this is identical to the original, just its prompts are more obscure
  • If you won’t use the custom prompts merely having the weird new ones isn’t a guaranteed improvement