Review: Truth or Lies (360)
Title: Truth or Lies
TWOLS (Ten Word or Less Summary): Sub-par and ultimately unreliable – detector is long way from accurate!
Family Friendly?: Click here to skip the detail and see if this game is right for your family!
We laughed ’til we were sore playing this – but probably not for the reasons we were supposed to …
It’s absolutely freezing outside. The three of us – me, my husband, and our little one – snuggled up on the couch, eating popcorn and drinking chocolate and passing the mic from hand to hand. If I’m honest my boys are there under duress; I know that our son would have preferred that I’d fired up Marvel Superhero Squad (more on that another time), and my husband would rather … well, anything other than a video game, actually. For once I’m glad of our slightly temperamental heating system for the rest of the house is never as cosy as our lounge, and as long as they’re cuddled up on the sofa with me they have to play. Result.
The good news is that the moment you kick off, going through the calibration settings, it’s clear that it’s simply not possible to take yourself – or others, for that matter – all that seriously. We’re all given nicknames – bloke is ‘Shakes’, I’m ‘Lumpy’ and Sam is, rather appropriately, ‘Grouchy’ – and the game begins.
The premise is essentially the old-age Truth or Dare but without the dares (which is probably just as well). Players take turns to answer a plethora of questions ranging from the amusing to the puerile to the stupid to the positively intrusive. The types of questions you receive depend upon which setting you opted for at the beginning of the game; kids, couples, family, teens or adults. Trust me when I tell you that you really don’t want to be selecting the wrong category in the wrong company. You may be really open about what your favourite sexual position is, but I doubt your grandma needs to know the specifics.
I’m sure you don’t need me to explain to you how it works; grab a mic – which the game doesn’t ship with, by the way – and then answer the question in the time allocated. The questions are chiefly inane rather than interesting and whilst the first fifteen or so minutes were surprisingly enjoyable, it got old reeeeally fast. Questions about farts and puke make my seven-year-old giggle, but they do nothing for me. The adult questions – sampled after said child had retired for the night – lacked substance, too. What was presumably supposed to be funny was riproaringly not, and the ‘serious’ questions had us doubled-over in glee.
If the 3000+ questions aren’t quite enough (and they’re not really), there’s the added pressure of a ‘hot seat’. One player grabs the mic, and then others can throw whatever the hell they want at them. Again, this was enjoyable for about fourteen seconds, after which it all became depressingly samey.
Problem is, as hit and miss as the questions are, that’s nothing compared to the game’s completely nonsensical ‘assessment’ tech. Despite investing the time in calibrating our profiles, we found that our answers came out as truth about 90% of the time – even when we were willfully and deliberately telling the biggest whoppers we could. There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason; whistling into the mic may one time be registered as the truth, the next, it’s a lie. Soft, considered answers are lies – whilst screaming into the microphone chalked up truth points. And yes, we did try actually lying – that didn’t work either. The game doesn’t boast ‘tech’ as much as it boasts a completely random game of chance – and what the hell is the point of that when the whole premise of the game is based upon a lie gauge?
- Nicknames are awesome – our family loved them
- Great selection of settings to permit age-appropriate questions
- Fantastic way to max out 1000G
Bad times :(
- Lie detection is hilariously unreliable
- Gameplay gets old and repetitive reeeeally quickly
- Doesn’t ship with one critical ingredient – the bloody microphone
Parental Perspective: Vikki is the mother of a seven-year-old who spends much of her life juggling home, work, parenthood and a love of gaming – although not always in that order. She loves survival horror games, puerile humour and men dressed up like doctors and is constantly searching for the perfect family game that she and her son can play together and both completely enjoy.
There are few games that we can sit down as a family and play. Even family favourites have their issues, so there was something quite attractive about sitting down on the sofa, sans controllers, and spending some time together. To say we didn’t enjoy it to begin with would be a lie (pun not intended – honest), but unfortunately Truth or Lies became incredibly tedious, incredibly quickly.
I find it perplexing that the game doesn’t ship with a mic. Given the game’s presumed target audience – casual and/or family gamers – I find it hard to imagine many are as obsessed as I am with Guitar Hero and have a console-compliant microphone just laying around. I do wonder if any would-be purchasers were put off by the thought that they’d have to buy a mic, too.
The audience-appropriate menu was great; we were able to isolate right away what we could and couldn’t play with our little one in attendance, and that must be quite a relief if you choose to play in a large setting with other family members present. I found some of the questions in the family/kids section really daft and occasionally off-putting, but my son loved them – which probably meant that they hit the target audience dead-on in that respect.
Unfortunately, it didn’t keep us engrossed for all that long. Within less than half an hour both he and my husband were getting restless and I wasn’t long behind them. It’s a real shame; had the game been less repetitive – by perhaps offering other modes, perhaps – it may have helped stave off the boredom. To be frank, I’d rather use my mic for the reason it was purchased – pretending to be Axel Rose and belting out O Sweet Child of Mine.
Kid Kritique: Sammy is the aforementioned seven-year-old with a burgeoning love of video games, particularly sports and kinetic (although not necessarily Kinect) games and titles based on his favourite costume-wearing superheroes. He loves SpongeBob, Doctor Who and Tottenham Hotspur Football Team.
Although Sam has had some help typing and formatting his contribution, the words and thoughts below are entirely his own and have been transcribed without interference.
Bad news guys – how do they know if the answers are true or false? They don’t! It was a bit silly. The good news is that it’s fun to play because it’s a family game. I like family games because we can play with our mum and dad and it’s fun. Another bad thing is I don’t like competition games because I like people working together and not beating each other.
I think other kids would like to play this game for a little bit but not for very long! It might be a good game to play with kids and grown-ups who don’t like controllers.