Picture this: you’re at a pre-drink with some friends, some friends of friends, and that one friend of a friend who you sort of have a crush on. People are casually drinking and having a good time, but the vibe is kind of dying. Someone suggests you all play a drinking game and everyone agrees… but what game?
Beer pong is fun, but there are too many of you. Flip cup is exciting, but it doesn’t give you a chance to really get to know each other. Your friend learned a new game while studying abroad, but no one really wants to learn the complicated rules. Games like King’s Cup are great if you have a deck of cards, but the game quickly loses steam. Nothing is a perfect fit for the night.
From the very limited research that I’ve done, there are 3 qualities of a good drinking game:
- The rules are simple
- It brings people together
- It is enjoyable
But what about the 3 qualities of a great drinking game:
- The rules are simple - and the game is easily accessible
- It brings people together - regardless of who they are and their state at the party
- It is enjoyable - throughout the whole game, and it’s replayable
The closest thing to a great drinking game I’ve played is a mobile app called “Picolo” (iOS/Android). Picolo is simple, can be played with just a single phone and any number of people, and is usually pretty fun. It checks the boxes for a good drinking game but falls short when evaluated against my great game list.
Firstly, the game has some brain-dead prompts that aren’t fun, leading to skipping of cards and a loss of momentum, for example:
- posting on Facebook
- “rule” cards that span multiple rounds
- extremely sexual cards
Second, the game lacks understanding about who the players are and their relationships. This can lead to some awkward, mood-killing situations, for example:
- the designated driver is told to finish their drink
- someone in a relationship has to do something romantic with someone other than their partner
So here’s my app pitch:
Harmony is a personalized drinking game made for human beings.
What if your game knew the players. What if it knew that Adam wasn’t drinking, Britney and Charlie were a couple, Daniel will do almost anything, and Ethan has a crush on Fiona. With the option to configure player rules (player statuses and player relationships), Harmony is able to respect people’s choices while simultaneously play matchmaker. It’s a real crowd-pleaser.
There are lots of prompt-based drinking games. Harmony would feature the best prompts from these games, and more importantly, not have any of the shitty ones.
Collections of prompts, sometimes referred to as cards, can be added or removed based on the vibe of the night. Each prompt has a “spiciness” rating from 1 to 5, where 1 is something you could play with your new coworkers and 5 is… intense. Before the game, players can set a range of what levels they want to play with. Additionally, new prompts will be consistently added to keep the game fresh.