My Favourite Games Of 2015: Quiplash

I didn’t want to nominate the entirety of the second Jackbox Party Pack, as there are two titles in the pack that are leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the offering.

One of those, Fibbage 2, is an iterative jump of the game that proved so good in last year’s Jackbox Pack. The other was released on its own in the middle of the year. And by God, is it something — as a few TAYbies undoubtedly know.

When I first got access to the internet, my brother introduced me to the Austnet IRC channel. I don’t quite recall how or why he got involved in that, nor the sequence that resulted in my induction. It later proved to be immensely useful in the early days of Quake and Counter-Strike, since that was the primary way to organise matches, pugs and so on, but I didn’t get involved with IRC from a gaming standpoint.

By chance, however, I managed to stumble across one particular channel: #madlibs.

The traditional madlibs you come across in souvenir shops and the like are pretty dry, mundane things that look like they belong in a time capsule. It’s usually a passage or a sentence in a book, with blank phrases that you fill in under the guise of creating your own story.

Boring. The #madlibs channel focused the humour of the players, lines that were guaranteed to elicit politically incorrect responses, and allowed players to vote on their favourite selections. It was a blast; I spent the entire time laughing.

That was over 15 years ago; I’ve been searching for a game to best replicate that experience. I’ve tried to find other IRC servers and other active channels in the hope of reliving that experience. When that failed, I turned to online sessions of Cards Against Humanity, which doesn’t have the same spirit.

One of the more sanitary responses you’ll see in Quiplash

I have a similar issue with Fibbage, in that the need to trick other people limits your humour. You can just play for laughs, if you like, but you’re effectively resigning the competition as a) the jokes will be obvious and b) there’s no incentive for other players to do anything but abstain.

It’s still a great game, but I wanted more. I even Tweeted at the developers last year pleading for a version of Fibbage that just featured people voting on the prompts submitted by other users. They replied, as you’d expect, cheekily.

Because that was already in development.

I’ll always favour Quiplash more than Fibbage simply because it’s completely unrestricted. The whole game thrives on your wit and the wit of your friends. It’s the closest there’s ever been to the #madlibs channels I explored back in the IRC days, even if lacks the speed that a text-only format provides.

For me, Quiplash might be the greatest game the Jackbox team has ever produced. I only wish that they included YDKJ with some extra episodes in this year’s Jackbox Party Pack 2; as a package with six games, it would have been an instant purchase for Christmas. But regardless of what they did, I’ll still love Quiplash. It’s not something you’d play for hours on end, but in that small window, once every month or so with friends, drinks and other games, by God it’s brilliant.

(But Jackbox, if you’re reading, if you could make a special mode where a sped up version of that final round is playable for the whole game — that’d be great. Thanks.)

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