Stop what you’re doing, install Steam on your desktop or laptop PC (if you haven’t already), and go hit up the store page for Quiplash. That’s Jackbox Games’ delightfully fun “submit answers to a prompt and everyone playing votes on what’s funny” experience that’s been a mainstay of many a bored person’s pandemic life over the last year or so.
Oh, and it’s completely free. The only drawbacks are that, one, you have until Monday, April 26 at 10:00 a.m. (PT) to claim this free version to your Steam account; and, two, you’re getting the game’s very first version. There have been three versions of Quiplash across Jackbox’s seven party packs (as of when I wrote this), and each comes with different prompts, setups, and final-round formats.
I don’t say that to disparage O.G. Quiplash, though. The game needs no graphical improvements to be better, since the hilarity entirely depends on the group of people you’re playing with. And if you’ve never played a Jackbox game over the web with your friends, the company makes it easy for anyone to jump in. That, and the wackiness, are what make Quiplash so damn fun.
All you need to do as the game’s host is fire up Quiplash on your computer and share your screen with everyone else playing. It’s easy to do in an app like Zoom, Google Meet, or Discord. As part of the game’s setup, everyone playing will see a code that they’ll input onto a free website on their smartphones or tablets. Their smartphones will then turn into the game’s controller—what you’ll use to type in your answers. It’s a format that works perfectly for these kinds of titles, and it, too, is completely free. Jackbox doesn’t charge any extra fees for any kind of multiplayer connectivity.
Last, but not least, to be good at Quiplash you have to be funny, and that depends on your ability to read the room. You can be absurd; you can cater to topics (or filthy jokes) you know your friends will laugh at; you can throw in a completely unrelated inside joke that will take on a life of its own within successive rounds of the game.
I don’t mean to get too clinical about this—it’s just Jackbox, after all—but know that you’ll have some Quiplash nights that are absolutely wild and some that feel like a dud. You’ll have times when you’re just not funny no matter how hard you’re trying, but Quiplash is still one of the best virtual experiences you can have with your friends. The fact that you can now get it for the low price of free is a rare treat that will improve everyone’s pandemic life.