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Have You Played... Gartic Phone?

A real tearjerker

A while back I wrote about Codenames, an excellent board game with a free browser-based version that made for some great long-distance family time during lockdown. Now, dear reader, I return once again with a free browser-based game that's perfect for long-distance fun. But this time, it's just about the funniest game I can remember playing. It's called Gartic Phone.

I laughed so hard I cried oceans of tears playing Gartic Phone for the first time with the family over drinks (this definitely feels like a game best played while tipsy). The concept is very simple and likely familiar: everyone starts by writing a prompt for a storyboard scene. Then those prompts are shuffled and given to other people in the group, who have to draw the scene to accompany that prompt. After that, the drawings are handed out to other people, who then write their own prompt to describe the scene. That prompt is then given to another person to draw, and so on and so forth.

By the end, you have a distinct story per player, and every player has had a hand in every story. And oh boy, do the stories quickly go off the rails, often in the funniest ways you could imagine.

A great extra touch is that you can save each story in gif format once it's complete. We have an ever-growing respository of Gartic Phone stories in our family Discord chat history now, and each time I scroll through them it makes me cry with laughter again. Here are a couple examples of how quickly things can get very stupid:

Even great artists will have their skills squandered thanks to the time constraints, and that's a good thing: the worse the drawings, the more effective the game. Luckily, I'm a terrible artist. And probability suggests that you are too. You'll like Gartic Phone.

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Gartic Phone

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Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.