Jackbox Games has released Drawful 2, the sequel to a game that was originally included in 2014's Jackbox Party Pack. Drawful 2 is a game where players use their smartphones, tablets, or computers to connect and play. 3-8 players can participate in the game while up to 10,000 players may watch and weigh in on the voting process. While much of the gameplay elements have remained the same, the latest entry in the franchise adds a variety of new features that fans will enjoy.
Each round of Drawful 2 begins with each player getting a prompt on a device. It could be something as simple as pepperoni pizza, or as difficult as sword fighting with bread sticks. You're then given a limited amount of time to try to use as much of your artistic skill as possible (if you have any) to complete your drawing. A new feature of Drawful 2 is that you can use two colors instead of one, but there's still no eraser so you have to be careful. As small a change as that might seem, those two colors make a big difference when you're trying to distinguish between two objects, or even perspectives. The act of drawing itself can vary depending on the type of device that you're using, and how well you can control your finger. It's not easy to tell whether some of the inaccuracies on some devices are because of the web portal to the game, how accurate the device is or whether it's just human error, which it might just be. These mishaps can be quite detrimental though because one error can throw off your picture completely. The lack of an eraser is both a good and a bad quality of the game, as it forces you to consider your drawing before you start and think where you're going to use color. In addition, even if you try to change your mind part way through for a better idea, you're stuck with the original.
After the drawing phase the image will be presented to all players where everyone apart from the illustrator will get to take a guess on their phone. If you guess correctly, you'll get to enter in a new lie instead. When everyone has guessed, all of the fake answers appear along with the one truth. People will then guess which they think is correct, earning points if they pick the right answer or fool others with their lie. This part of the game is usually filled with the most laughs, both based on how stupid some of the guesses are and how bad your friends are at drawing. This is also where Drawful 2 can be quite broken. If a player was to get a prompt about a cat, but instead drew an image of a donkey, everyone would guess about the donkey and then when all of the prompts appear it might be obvious that the true answer is the cat. Something like this isn't really avoidable in terms of gameplay mechanics, but instead it more comes down to trusting that the people you're playing the game with will play by the rules. It's similar to how people would play something like a tabletop game, having to all agree to the rules as there is no way for the game itself to enforce them on you.
After a few rounds, depending on the number of players, the total point score is shown deciding who is the winner and whose answers got liked the most. From here you can choose to start a new round with the same players, get different players, or even go back through your gallery and tweet out any drawings that you're particularly proud of, or that you're not proud of at all.
It wouldn't be a game show style game without a presenter, so you have a cheerful voice following the game along talking about good guesses, questionable drawings, and more. The quirky dialog means that even if you're not chastising your friends or fans online, there is never a dull moment.
If you decide that just your friends aren't enough and you want to stream the game via Twitch or a similar streaming service, Jackbox Games have included a variety of settings to make sure the game will continue even with the worst lag. You can increase the drawing and selection timer up to a full minute and anyone who isn't playing can still decide who gets the most liked answers. For streamers, these kinds of features are excellent in not only growing an audience but also allowing them to interact with them. If you want to hold a family friendly stream there is even a setting for that. Features like this make Drawful 2 not only a game accessible to all ages, but also to all kinds of people across the world, while it's a feature that not many games would be able to implement in this setting it works perfectly.
Drawful 2 takes the elements that worked incredibly well in the original game and improve upon them by adding multiple colors, more player support, and better streaming options. There is a word of warning that a friend that tries to game the system might ruin the fun for all. Still, this is the kind of game that you'll not only bring up as a suggestion at a party, but you'll probably end up building entire parties around it.
Drawful 2 was reviewed on Xbox One with a code provided by the publisher. It is also available on PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam.
Drawful 2 has similarities to the original while adding fun new features and enough replayability that you can keep the party going.(Review Policy)