I don't usually write about games here at MacStories, but SketchParty TV is a real gem that I've enjoyed playing with my friends a few days ago.
To properly celebrate the end of 2012 and the arrival of a new year, we organized a dinner with a few good friends at my place on December 31st. As we waited for midnight with the company of good Italian food and wine, we took a couple of photos, shot some videos for future memory, and eventually got past midnight, unable to go out because of the aforementioned overwhelming quantity of food that forced us to sit down and rethink our New Year's Eve strategy. Out of curiosity, I took my iPad mini and decided to try SketchParty TV, a Pictionary-like drawing game that uses AirPlay Mirroring to split the gameplay between the device (where words you have to draw appear) and the big screen (where drawings are shown alongside scores and team information).
We ended up playing SketchParty TV until 6 AM. At one point, I was laughing so hard at my friend's attempt to guess a platypus (I'm terrible at drawing) that I dropped wine all over my elegant New Year's Eve outfit (I'm also terrible at laughing without causing things to fall off desks and/or tables).
Because I don't have an Apple TV connected to my living room's old CRT television, I used Reflector for AirPlay Mirroring on my MacBook Air. With Reflector and my local WiFi network, SketchParty streaming quality was great, but we had to restart Reflector a couple of times. The app is extremely simple and, for that reason, insanely fun: you just need to set up two teams and start drawing. The app has a built-in timer for turns, and it correctly hides the word your teammates have to guess on the mirroring screen (so only you can see it). There are colors to choose from, three brush sizes, and Undo buttons; there's also a Clear Page button to erase an entire page when your attempt to draw a woman's stylized figure are backfiring. The app automatically keeps track of scores and saves an archive of games that you can re-watch at any time from the main screen.
SketchParty is a good example of how modern devices and software can make our lives even slightly better. It's a simple and fun game, but I didn't have to waste any paper to play it with my friends; furthermore, we now have an archive of our platypus drawings to go through for a serious amount of quality mocking. SketchParty TV is Universal and available at $4.99 on the App Store.