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Review: Quiplash

Jul 12 // Nic Rowen
Quiplash (PC [reviewed], PS4, Xbox One, iOS)Developer: Jackbox Games Inc.Publisher: Jackbox Games Inc.MSRP: $9.99Released: June 30, 2015 Quiplash is the latest title from the party-game maestros at Jackbox Games. It represents what they learned from the success of the Jackbox Party Pack and how they observed people using it. It takes the pick-up-and-go ease of those games to a whole new level by cutting out every superfluous element of the experience and leaving nothing but goofs and japes. Quiplash works by getting three-to-eight players together, asking a few leading questions to different sets of players, and getting the audience to vote on which answer they think is funniest. Then it's off to the next round for more of the same. It's a quick no-fuss-no-muss mainlining of jokes, with each game taking roughly ten minutes start to finish. When I first started playing it, I was worried that that they cut too much, that without some kind of a framework the game would devolve into chaos. But surprisingly, it works. It's a much more egalitarian game than the other Jackbox titles, one that is easier to rope people into. There's no baggage, no time commitment, and no stakes except you and your friends' amusement. This lack of consequence and ease of use is a godsend when playing with mixed company, making it an even more appealing party choice over the other Jackbox games. While You Don't Know Jack is hilarious, it can lead to some sore feelings if one person in the room is the perpetual dunce. Fibbage is fantastic, but with the relatively small pool of questions, veterans have a distinct advantage. And while I personally believe Drawful is at its best when nobody knows how to draw worth a damn, it tends to be intimidating to people who's artistic skills might rival a chimps. Quiplash is just a vehicle for jokes. A vehicle you can ride as long as you like, or hop off on a whim to go find something in the kitchen or chat with someone. Just like the Jackbox Party Pack games, it is ridiculously easy to get an entire living room of people into a game of Quiplash. All a person needs is a device with a web-browser like a cellphone or tablet, and a questionable moral fiber to get in on the action. But Quiplash takes it one step further. Seeing the popularity of their other games on streaming services such as Twitch, Jackbox Games designed Quiplash with streaming in mind from the ground up. While only eight players are able to provide answers and gags, an audience of up to 10,000 can vote on which goof tickled them best. There is no registration or buy-in necessary. You could try it right now but simply searching Twitter or Twitch for an active game and punching the room number into jackbox.tv. While there is nothing overtly offensive about Quiplash, comparisons to the adult party game Cards Against Humanity are almost unavoidable. The two games definitely share the same naughty head-space, with CAH offering a selection of deliciously offensive punchlines, while Quiplash spoon-feeds the room questions that are guaranteed to rouse the profane 14-year-old lurking inside of every normally responsible adult. However, because Quiplash depends on the creativity of it's players, you don't run into the diminishing returns a well-worn deck of CAH suffers from. I mean, “Glenn Beck Catching His Scrotum on a Curtain Hook” is a great line the first (dozen) times you hear it, but nothing can retain its shock value forever. This dependency on player creativity is both a blessing and a curse. Playing with a group of quick-witted people who know each others tastes or how to push each others' buttons can yield tremendous results. Earlier this week, a “low-key” get together with some friends turned into a all-night booze-fueled Quiplash binge that left me sore with laughter the next day. It was fantastic. Jumping into a few online games provided a mixed, and decidedly less amusing, time. While some of the streams I joined were fairly funny, a depressing number of them seemed to be a competition of who could staple together the most vulgar combination of “poop, jizz, butts, poop, ur mom” in an answer, no matter what the question was. But, since the commitment level to a game of Quiplash is roughly zero, it's easy to just up and bounce if a particular online room seems lame. If that rough time is happening in your own living room however, things might get trickier. Maybe get better friends? “Accidentally” set the room on fire? Or you could strap them down Clockwork Orange style, peel their eyes open and make them watch episodes of Louie and old Kids in the Hall sketches until they generate a sense of humor. I'm a reasonable man after all. Quiplash is a drum-fed machine gun of jokes. It's quick, it's snappy, and I'm hard pressed to think of a better time one could buy for $10 without breaking a few laws. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Quiplash Review photo
Crowd-pleaser
Quiplash is what you get when Fibbage and Drawful get a few drinks in them and stop screwing around. When you strip down the flimsy excuse of a lying/trivia game, remove your friends embarrassing chicken-scratch doodles, and leave nothing but raw, undiluted, punch-lines. It's a party game that is so minimalist, it's almost not there. Thankfully, with the right group of people, it's also hilarious.

That's What I Call Sing photo
That's What I Call Sing

New karaoke game That's What I Call Sing coming to PS4, Xbox One


All about that bass, baby
Jul 10
// Vikki Blake
There are a lot of people who couldn't give a tiny rat's ass about karaoke games. I am not one of those people. Surprised? Yeah. ME TOO. Turns out that I need a release from all the blood and shit kill:death ratios of my typi...
amiibo party time! photo
amiibo party time!

What every amiibo looks like with a party hat


This is cute as all get-out
Jun 10
// Brett Makedonski
One year ago to the day, Nintendo unveiled amiibo at its E3 press conference. Since then, the tale of these little plastic figurines has been well-documented. Many of them are low in supply, they're stressful to find, an...

Konami is bad photo
Konami is bad

Creator blames Konami for end of popular 27-year-old series


Love to work for Konami
Jun 03
// Steven Hansen
Momotaro Dentetsu isn't a household name in the states, but in Japan the series has sold tens of millions and long predates Mario Party as a popular (train-themed) video game board game. The Hudson series has seen dozens of e...

Knight Squad was the most fun I had at PAX South

Jan 28 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]286807:57063:0[/embed] Like any party game worth its salt, Knight Squad forces you into a good-natured competitive flurry for a few minutes at a time. And, when any given round is over, everyone will want to immediately start a new one. It's easy to pick up and difficult to put down. Boasting eight-player action, Knight Squad either pits everyone against one another separates them into four person teams. There are eight game modes -- a few vaguely innovative, most classics everyone knows and loves. The likes of team and free-for-all capture the flag are present, and were maybe the biggest hits all weekend. For my money, working as a team to push a giant soccer ball while fighting off the other side was the most enjoyable. Honestly though, it didn't really matter which mode was played, as all players were fully into every round. Littering the battlefield are power-ups that constantly regenerate. Some are a bit more passive like boots to increase speed, or a sword to give a tiny bit more reach. Others were brazenly in-your-face like a kamikaze bomb and a lightning rod that shot streaks across the screen. Whatever your method, Knight Squads brisk-paced action ensures you won't remain dedicated to it for too long. Deaths come at a quick clip, and that power-up you really liked suddenly isn't yours anymore. No worries, some other combination will manifest itself this time -- oops, you're dead again. Oh well, right back into the fray. Despite being surrounded by seven other players, I flexed my Knight Squad prowess immediately. You see, I had a bit of an unfair advantage. I played it at PAX Prime during an impromptu play session at an indie showcase. When I got an email from the developers asking to book a PAX South appointment, I didn't have to wonder what kind of coverage I'd get out of it. I just wanted to play again. That's why, of all the bookings at PAX South, Knight Squad was the only one I insisted Kyle accompany me on. For the life of him, he couldn't understand why. Admittedly, it doesn't look like much at first. Once we had one round under our belts, we didn't want to leave. It's the kind of game that just grabs you and never lets go until the party's over. We stayed and kept playing, damn the ever-increasing mess of people behind us. It's unknown if that magic will transfer over to an online crowd. It's unlikely that many will be able to accommodate eight players in their living room, so online is where most will see Knight Squad in full force. While the game's Early Access right now, the first online version should go live sometime this week. The final retail build is scheduled to release sometime around late March on PC and Xbox One. For ID@Xbox parity clause reasons, Chainsawesome will start thinking about other platforms (likely PS4 and Wii U) at a later date. Whenever it comes to your platform of choice, there's a good time awaiting you. It's a dose of Bomberman, a dash of Gauntlet, and a whole heaping of trash-talking your friends. That is, until you inevitably get shanked in retribution. Alas, that's the circle of life in Knight Squad.
Knight Squad preview photo
And it wasn't even close
If you were to take booths' popularity at PAX South and plot them on a heat map, most of the obvious candidates would stick out. Twitch would be red hot, as it constantly had a flurry of people swarming to watch their favorit...

Jackbox Party contest photo
20 copies up for grabs
The Jackbox Party Pack is the ultimate collection of party games for you and your non-existent friends to not play when they don't come over because they aren't real, and now it can be yours for the low, low price of absolute...

Dtoid at PAX Prime photo
Dtoid at PAX Prime

Dtoid's community meetup plans for PAX Prime 2014!


Bookmark this page for guaranteed fun!
Aug 29
// Mr Andy Dixon
[Update: Our big party is tonight! Hope to see you there!] PAX Prime 2014 is happening right now! We're armed to the teeth with meetups scheduled for Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday, a badass party we're co-hosting with ...
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Weekend Playlist: E3 Edition


SOON
Jun 07
// GRIMECRAFT
It's my favorite time of the year ladies and gentlemen. E3 is almost upon us and therefore I have gathered the future sounds of Devolver Digital's excellent party line up which includes Nidhogg OST creator (and personal hero...

This is Destructoid's ROBOT party

Mar 22 // Niero Gonzalez
Special thanks to our sponsors SEGA, En Masse and Twitch, our DJs MyKill, GrimeCraft, R3Y, plus all the people behind the scenes: One PR Studio, Kjell, Jeanne, Kayla, Sean, Lance, Manny, Mari, Amber, GunRun, and everybody else that burned the midnight oil to make this happen.  So what can you expect from our next ROBOT party? Live party stream  + contests: Dev interviews on stage + photo hashtags: [embed]272339:53108:0[/embed]   Themed party drinks from our sponsors: Laser guns, costumes for attendees, and LED light party favors: Step-in custom photo booth & themed gift bags: Food truck + Chillout quiet area to network: Live Music performances + Master of Ceremony: Custom visuals & crazy robots dancing on projectors: And of course, you can borrow the helmet and dance on stage! Missed our bash? We're doing it again: Destructoid is always looking for venues and sponsors to bring the party to the next event! Get in touch with me at niero [at] destructoid dot com if you're interested in being a part of this madness.  See you at the next one!  
DTOID Party photo
Thanks again to SEGA, TWITCH, and En Masse Entertainment
Destructoid loves to put on parties for our community, and our new event concept "ROBOT" was our biggest production ever! While we're working on the video from the party here's a gallery of the amazing people that rolled through. 

GDC PARTY photo
GDC PARTY

Reminder! Destructoid's GDC party is tonight!


Join SEGA, EnMasse Entertainment, Twitch, and Dtoid for one wild night!
Mar 18
// Mari Monzo
Update: The Me So Hungry food truck will be parked at our party! Doors open at 8pm, and the event is sold out via EventBrite. If you RSVP'd via Facebook or are super BFFs with Dtoid crew we will try to accommodate y...
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R O B O T


GDC '14 + March 18 @ Mighty
Mar 06
// Niero Gonzalez
Details to come. RSVP

Review: Mario Party: Island Tour

Nov 27 // Caitlin Cooke
Mario Party: Island Tour (3DS)Developer: Nd CubePublisher: NintendoRelease Date: November 22, 2013MSRP: $39.99 Mario Party: Island Tour presents a variety of game modes: eight main party modes, three minigame modes, and StreetPass minigames. Party mode focuses on the core of the Mario Party series -- characters progress on a game board with the goal of either getting to the end first or collecting the most mini-stars. Each party mode is rated in three different categories: Skill, Luck, and Minigames. For example, the Rocket Road game is rated at two skill, four minigame, and five luck because it’s basically a game where you roll a die to get to the end of a line, but also contains many tiles that make you switch places with opponents (i.e., lots of luck involved). Estimated play times are also shown, which I found helpful but somewhat unreliable. I had kind of hoped for a mode that resembled the original premise of Mario Party -- screwing over other players to collect the most coins and stars. Unfortunately, nothing like that exists. It’s almost as if they took each aspect of the original Mario Party and chopped it up into different modes. One board’s goal is to collect mini-stars, another board focuses on items that affect players, etc. There isn’t really one “complete” Mario Party experience. That being said, there are a few boards that break from the mold. For example, Kamek’s Carpet Ride utilizes cards instead die, forcing players to use a bit of strategy in which cards they decide to play. In Bowser’s Peculiar Peak, the goal is to stay in last place by not making it to the end or Bowser will smash you with his hammer. These modes are somewhat enjoyable but not really the complete package I was hoping for since the goal is usually one-sided and involves finishing the board. To make matters worse, the gameplay is somewhat unbearable at times. I realize this is a child-friendly game, but Toad goes above and beyond with babying the players. His trademark is to point out something obvious each turn -- like who is about to win the game or how many rounds until a minigame is played. If I get a card or item that could potentially allow me to win the game, he’ll say something like “Between you and me, if you use this, you could reach the goal!” Nothing is left for you to figure out on your own. Island Tour seems rigged in the sense that nothing is truly randomized -- the games are fair to a fault. Toad will sometimes rearrange the turn orders based on minigame ranking to allow players who are behind to catch up. Each mode also seems to have a mechanism to prevent players from progressing too far ahead, whether it be Bonzai Bill knocking players back or a Whomp blocking the path. In Star-Crossed Skyway players are forced to stop advancing once they hit a certain platform, allowing everyone else to catch up. And usually there’s some sort of “random” havoc that happens every once in a while to even the playing field for opponents who are behind. The one mode I actually enjoyed was Bowser’s Tower, a single-player story(ish) driven game where you climb a tower and defeat bubble ghosts by playing minigames. As you climb, Bowser likes to randomly select a punishment or reward which could affect enemy levels or your sacred Mario Party Points (which are used to purchase collectables). There’s also an option to save and come back later to finish the tower, which is a useful addition for folks who are strapped for time. Minigames are the highlight of Island Tour -- there are a wide variety of games and for the most part they’re entertaining and original. I was happy to find that 3DS capabilities were used in most minigames -- tilt, 3D, mic, touch screen, dual screen, and augmented reality all made an appearance. I did notice however that any of the games utilizing the mic were extremely off. I tested both voice impersonation games with my fiance -- he whispered lewd things into the mic while I actually attempted to play and I lost each and every time. It was hilarious, but disappointing. Although I enjoyed most of the minigames, Mario Party: Island Tour lacks heart at the end of the day. I explained the situation to a non-gaming friend and she replied, “So if this were a party in real life, the host basically ordered too much salad instead of pizza.” Her assessment is eerily accurate -- in the Mario Party diet, the salad is the necessary but restricting structure and the pizza is the delicious, random fun that makes it worthwhile. The amount of hand-holding in this latest installment leaves me longing for the Mario Party days of yore -- a time when people actually worked hard to win minigames because it got them that much closer to the big reward: a star. The minigames in Island Tour are enjoyable but the structure around them can be tiring and almost too fair to bad (or just plain unfortunate) players. The only true merit of Mario Party: Island Tour is the ability to play Mario Party with your local friends on the 3DS. As long as they have a 3DS and are close-by, playing via Download Play is fairly quick and painless. However, the lack of online play and the overall single-player experience is a pretty big bummer. Unless you’re desperate and need a quick Mario Party fix on the go, stick with a console version if you can.
Mario Party review photo
More like Island BORE
I consider myself a Mario Party veteran -- I’ve been a huge fan of the series, with a particular emphasis on the cutthroat days of the N64 titles. There’s nothing like losing the skin on the palm of your hands t...

Last call for a PS4 photo
Last call for a PS4

444 PS4s selling in NYC for people without pre-orders


Go get in line!
Nov 13
// Joshua Derocher
The PlayStation Blog made an announcement that 444 PlayStation 4s will be available at The Standard, High Line hotel in New York City. These will be sold at a midnight launch event at the hotel, and there will be arcade ...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Wii Party U dramatically increases Wii U sales in Japan


Minigame collection and new bundle drive hardware sales
Nov 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Wii Party U probably isn't going to set the world on fire, but it just might help save the Wii U. The minigame-fest hit shelves in Japan last week along with a special console bundle that also includes New Super Mar...

Review: Wii Party U

Oct 24 // Chris Carter
Wii Party U (Wii U)Developer: Nintendo (Nd Cube)Publisher: NintendoReleased: October 25, 2013MSRP: $49.99 (with Black Wii Remote Plus - physical release only) Wii Party U is basically Nintendo's crack at a Mario Party-like IP (although Nd Cube did recently handle Mario Party 9). Under the helpful watch of the absolutely adorable Muppet-like Party Phil and Party Penny, you'll take your personalized Mii on a journey across three modes: board games, a party mode, and activities played entirely on the GamePad. Yep, just like Mario Party, there are a few boards to travel across that basically serve as a delivery mechanism for minigames. The design feels a bit odd for sure, because in some ways the in-game mechanics are superior to Nintendo's famous party franchise, and in others, it feels more bare-bones. For instance, I love the rolling system in Wii Party U, as it's mostly based on skill rather than luck. Depending on the board, you'll either earn more dice for performing well in minigame challenges, or the dice rolls themselves are tiny microgames. So instead of simply rolling a die and moving that many spaces, you may have to shoot a blowgun dart at a numbered balloon by blowing into the GamePad's microphone, or quickly tap a procession of numbers flying across the touch screen. But while I found that minor mechanical tweak to be a unique change of pace, the boards have a distinct lack of personality. Instead of the clever tricks and traps found in most Mario Party boards (the Monopoly and Ghost Mansion maps really stand out for me), most boards in Wii Party U are very bare-bones, and offer generic mishaps like "go back three spaces." At the crux of the entire experience are the minigames, of which there are over 80. In a setup similar to Mario Party, you can access all of these individually from the main menu, as well as set up micro tournaments that consist entirely of skirmish after skirmish with some gimmicks involved to mix things up. The games range from luck-based endeavors like "hide from the ostrich!" to one of the most enjoyably competitive (albeit simple) Pac-Man clones I've seen to date. One really cool feature is the ability to "rate" games after you've played them on a five-star rating system, which is then collectively applied to games on the list via the internet. As an aside, the vast majority of these games are played with Wiimotes, so you'll need four of them to accommodate a full house. Thankfully most of them didn't go overboard with waggle, and there's a decent mix of old-school NES-style controls alongside some shaking. Effectively, you could call Wii Party U "Minigames: The Game," which would be both a compliment and a slight -- but in general I was having fun, even if I've seen most of it before. Party Mode is a bit more out of the box, offering activities like "rate your friends," to Pictionary, to a Twister-like free-for-all, where everyone is trying to grab certain buttons on the GamePad, and four Wiimotes laid out on the floor. You'll need a party of three or more to play the majority of these, and depending on how active your group is, your mileage will vary. For some of these games you'll need a special stand, which is included in the box to help prop up your GamePad. I wasn't too impressed by these, but with the right group you'll make your own fun. The final piece of the puzzle is a small collection of GamePad-only games. This portion is restricted to two players, since each person will be taking up one end of the controller, using opposite analog sticks to control the action. These are more like tech demos compared to the rest of the Wii Party U, and include things like foosball, baseball, and marble games. It can be a bit annoying to find a perfect spot that's in range of the Wii U to accommodate two players on the same screen -- but with an enthusiastic partner, at least half of these adversarial and co-op-enabled games can serve as a minor distraction. In short, it's more like an extra than a full-blown feature. Outside of the sheer amount of minigames and modes on offer, there isn't a whole lot to unlock in Wii Party U -- what you see is basically what you get. In terms of replay value you'd be hard pressed to be entertained for more than a week by yourself, and with two players, you may get another week or two out of it. But with three to four player engagements constantly, you're going to get a ton more mileage. In some ways Wii Party U feels like a more refined Mario Party, albeit with a lot less heart and charm. It constantly straddles the line between tech-demo and full-on experience, but after playing it extensively, my brain tends to gravitate towards the latter. Although it isn't the be-all-end-all of party games, I'm pulling for Party Phil and Party Penny to be in the next Smash Bros. -- because after all, Nintendo could really use more Muppets.
Wii Party U review photo
A modest get-together
Nintendo has a storied history with multiplayer games. Back in the days of the Nintendo 64 and the GameCube, its power to get four people in a room together was unrivaled. Now, every console supports four or more controllers,...

Dtoid's PAX Schedule photo
Dtoid's PAX Schedule

Dtoid's community meetup plans for PAX Prime 2013!


Party every day
Aug 31
// Mr Andy Dixon
PAX Prime 2013 is just three weeks away RIGHT NOW HOLY SHIT! As always, there will be a ton of games to see and play and panels and parties to attend, and we've listed the very best of them right here for your bookmarking con...
GameWorks Party photo
GameWorks Party

Come party with Dtoid and LOST SAGA tonight at PAX!


First 200 people through the door get a cool LOST SAGA backpack
Aug 29
// Mr Andy Dixon
[Update: Party starts in about five hours! Communitoid fans will want to show up even earlier, because we're doing a live recording starting at 7:30 and YOU can be a part of it!] PAX may not officially begin until Friday, but...
Playroom photo
Playroom

Playroom will be pre-installed on all PlayStation 4s


Set your friends on fire
Aug 20
// Darren Nakamura
Sony's PlayStation Eye support seemed to wane as the PlayStation 3 aged, but armed with the new features in the PlayStation 4's controller, it looks like the camera will be attempting a comeback, hoping to stay more relevant ...
 photo

The party on the pirate ship at San Diego Comic-Con


Assassin's Creed IV
Jul 20
// Dale North
Last night, the Jackdaw from Assassin's Creed IV (or something like it) was docked behind the convention center after San Diego Comic-Con closed. It was lit up, filled with drinks and music, and then boarded by partygoers fr...

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