The game of witty and shocking responses to everyday questions is now available on Switch for the first time as an individual title. Quiplash, from party game giant Jackbox Games, has been a mainstay of house parties and dorms since first releasing on PC back in 2015. Not only that, but it has become a favorite amongst streamers, especially now that shelter-in-place orders are making traditional gatherings less and less common.
Once connected with your smart device of choice, you and up to eight contestants are given open-ended prompts to anonymously answer. Once all the responses are in, two answers at a time are pitted against each other and everyone votes on their favorite, usually boiling down to which response was funnier. The answer with the more votes wins the round and racks up points for their overall score. The beauty of Quiplash is in its open-ended premise, looking less for right answers and rather what will win votes. It’s very similar to tabletop games like Apples to Apples or Superfight, where knowing your audience and what they’ll react to is just as important as anything presented by the game itself.
When you have the right group of players together, Quiplash is an absolute riot from start to finish. It’s no surprise that the title quickly became a staple of streamers everywhere. Not only is it an easy way for them to flex their sense of humor, but even those watching can take part thanks to the audience mode. Even when a game is at capacity or already in progress, people can log their device in as an “audience member”, which will let them sit in on the game and award bonus points to their favorite responses. While the contestant amount caps at only eight, Quiplash allows up to a ridiculous 10,000 audience members per game. With a large enough crowd watching, the final outcome could be decided by your real life audience, a level of interactivity not a lot of games can go around claiming.
Unfortunately there isn’t any additional content that makes Quiplash really worth purchasing outside of The Jackbox Party Pack 3 unless you were only interested in the singular title. It’s surprising that vanilla Quiplash was the edition to get its own port when a Quiplash XL and Quiplash 2 have already been released in other Party Packs. With social distancing still at the forefront of the cultural zeitgeist, it would’ve been something else to see some kind of online competitive mode established similar to how other tabletop games have been adapted. While these games are at their best with more people involved, it’s going to be a while before large in real life gatherings are not viewed as a health risk. A studio like Jackbox Games that deals exclusively in party games might need to look into alternatives if it wants to maintain relevance down the line.
- Graphics - 7/107/10
- Sound - 7/107/10
- Gameplay - 9/109/10
- Lasting Appeal - 9/109/10
Final Thoughts: GREAT
Five years on from original release, Quiplash is still considered by many to be the quintessential Jackbox game. Its focus on creativity and personality gives it an unmistakably unique identity that welcomes both the clever and the crass with open arms.
Evan Roode is a full time journalism student and amateur game historian. His favorite song from Guitar Hero III was “Even Flow”.