It's easy to get excited when you see a new game from the makers of You Don't Know Jack, Fibbage, and Drawful. However, they also made Word Spud, so it makes you wonder where Quiplash lies on the spectrum. Does it have what it takes to get the party started or are you better off sticking to the classics? Invite some chums over and let's give it a try.
First of all, Quiplash requires at least three people to play and allows up to eight main players total, so keep that in mind before purchasing. Each person plays on their internet-enabled device of choice. Every match is broken up into three rounds where the first two rounds make players type funny answers for two questions each. After everyone's done, each question is revealed with the two answers from the players who had that question. The remaining players vote on the one they like best which awards points. In the final round, only one question is given and every player must answer it. Then, all of the answers are displayed and each player distributes three votes according to which ones they like (they can even put all three votes on the same answer if they want). These votes correspond to points and the player with the most points wins. That's the entire game; be the funniest of your friends and you win.
As with previous Jackbox games, Quiplash is easy to set up on almost any device. Just go to a URL, enter a code, and type in your name. Even the most technologically impaired ignoramus could figure it out. Anyway, Quiplash takes a minimalistic approach to its presentation which is great as it allows you to focus on having fun. You and your friends are represented by small coloured shapes with faces on them that vocalise with excitement as they earn points. This combined with the charming sound effects and goofy narrator establishes a carefree atmosphere that's perfect for such a simple party game.
Although Quiplash requires three players, it simply isn't that fun with a small crowd of friends. This is because when you have just three people, only one player at a time votes on which answer they like the best. It's frankly lame. Having four players is a bit more fun, but you'll need at least five players for the game to be worthwhile. This might be a deal-breaker for many gamers, but if you're lucky and are able to play with eight people then you may have a good enough time to warrant a purchase. It should be mentioned that you can actually play with more than eight players where each additional person becomes a part of the audience. Even though the audience doesn't experience the full game, they get to vote on answers which awards bonus points to the answer that gets the most audience votes. It's a well implemented feature that thankfully allows additional people to join in on the festivities.
Unfortunately, even when you manage to get a full party going in Quiplash, the excitement quickly dies down after only a few matches. Probably the largest contributor to this is the fact that questions repeat way too often. After playing five matches, we saw three repeated questions already. This is unacceptable for a game that solely relies on its question diversity to remain fun. Even if the questions never repeated, the simplistic gameplay formula becomes repetitive much sooner than you'd want it to. With no right or wrong answers and the core of the game simply consisting of seeing who can come up with the funniest answers, it would be more feasible to just make up your own similar game with pen and paper. Ultimately, since playing your own made up game could be as good of a time (and with an unlimited amount of questions), it makes me wonder when purchasing this video game would ever be worth it.
Quiplash is a game that has a lot of potential since it comes from the folks who brought us a few near-perfect party games in the past. However, it ends up being a disappointment that would have been better suited as optional DLC for their far superior title; The Jackbox Party Pack. As a stand-alone game, it only offers a few laughs and a short-lived distraction at the most.
- + Quirky visuals, sound effects, and narration make playing more enjoyable
- + It's good for a few laughs
- - Requires three people to play and at least five people to start actually being fun
- - You'll encounter repeat questions regularly
- - The fun factor dies down after a few rounds