The perfect companion for a lovely night with friends!
Did you know that I liked Game & Wario a lot? That is most likely something that the majority won't agree on, but one game stood clearly out above them all. This was Sketch, where you would draw pictures of various things on the Wii U GamePad's touchscreen. I always thought that someone would take the idea, expand it and make it a game everyone can enjoy. This day has finally arrived!
What makes PictoParty immediately stand out, is the clean and simple look of it all. The game doesn't overcomplicate matters and lays everything out in a way that I can appreciate. The Play option allows you to draw pictures with up to 15 people, which is rather nuts. Everyone enters a name and takes a picture with the GamePad's camera. This helps you to keep track of all the players in the game, which is greatly appreciated.
The way you play the game depends on the amount of the players that decide to enter. You can play with two people and try to get a high score of correct guesses together. There are no leaderboards to support this though, which is sort of a bummer. You can play a game where everyone else has to decide what you are drawing is, or work in teams of two or three to make competitive teams like a simplified game of Pictionary. To add even more insanity, you can change up the rules to how you see them fit. You can toy around with the round length, the penalty for passing, the dictionary and a whole lot more.
This dictionary contains nine built in categories with options like Activities or Food. You can select the ones you want during your game to customize the experience that you want to have. What is even better is that you can make your own categories and add as many words as you like to it. This made me want to make a dedicated gaming category, in which I threw consoles and various types of video games. My friends found it a ton of fun and we just laughed the night away.
What helps is that the options on the Wii U GamePad are crazy satisfying. It obviously feels great to draw on that touchscreen, but you have six colors available to you, which allows you to make some fun detailed pictures. What is disappointing that there is no way to save drawings you or the other players have made. You can see them afterwards and perhaps take a picture on your phone, but you can't share the sillyness on Miiverse. Even an option to save screens to a SD card would have been great, but the developers simply decided otherwise.
Outside of its smaller missteps, Retroid Interactive has created a multiplayer game that feels made for the Wii U. There is a good variety of words on offer, but the key to keep players is adding your own categories and tailor it constantly to new players. Next to that, it just feels nice to draw on the Wii U GamePad and that makes the party endless!