REVIEW: What’s That Movie? (iOS)
Title: What’s That Movie?
Platform: iOS devices (reviewed on iPhone)
TL;DR: Free, if unappealing, multiplayer movie title quiz
Family Friendly: See Below
Right off the bat, please let me explain: I’m only reviewing the free, multiplayer mode of What’s That Movie? here. There is a single-player mode in XVision’s movie knowledge quiz, but not in my review.
The main draw of the game seems to be playing against others, anyway. Maybe single-player is amazing? I don’t know. But, based on the part of the game I have played…I don’t have a lot of hope for that single-player mode, anyway. The thing about What’s That Movie? is that it’s just not very good. It does work, so that’s a plus. But it’s clunky, a bit unattractive, and a tad dull. If you’re an extreme movie nut, maybe you’ll be into it…by all means, try it for yourself. Maybe you’ll have a better experience; if so, come right on back here and tell me how wrong I am. That’s just fine with me. Personally, I give it no thumbs up. You start off a multiplayer game by searching, naturally, for opponents. This is done over the familiar, hideous green casino table backdrop that is Game Center. You can invite a friend to play, or search for random opponents. That’s actually a cool idea; test your movie knowledge against strangers, and always have someone to play with. For the purposes of this review, I tried both variations a few times. I played against an actual friend and against random strangers. You can play with up to 4 people.
My friend – let’s call him “Not Josh” to protect innocent – is a movie guy. He loves movies. He absorbs them, and prides himself on knowing things about movies. Cool, whatevs. I figured Not Josh would be a good person to tap for a game of What’s That Movie?, so tap I did and game we did. Between rounds, we commented on the game. Those comments weren’t very positive. You play the game by reading fast-scrolling text describing a movie’s plot/cast/etc. The scrolling text changes fonts, none of which are very nice. No reason to vary far from the perfectly-fine (if not spectacular) fonts used for the title screen/game menus, but…I guess because nothing else in the game ever changes visually, they wanted to “mix it up” somehow. As a result, some ugly fonts occasionally take center stage. The inconsistency makes reading more difficult, and gives the key component of the game an all-over-the-place feel.
If you can get past font choices, dear reader, know that the clues themselves are very and very dry. They scroll lifelessly past, and you compete against you opponent(s) to tap the correct movie title to match the description first. If you do well, you’re rewarded (well…) with Time Bonuses, which extend the match. Do poorly, and the game will end with your humiliation in short order. There are also dings and buzzes that seem, somehow, to correspond to things happening in your game. I was too busy reading scrolling movie descriptions to really look, but I’m pretty sure “ding” means good and “buzz” means bad.
Then, it’s over. You see the final scores. You’re given the option to start a rematch, but…whenever I tried to do so, I was just sent back to the title screen, anyway. So, instead of easily firing up another round against, say, Not Josh, who is already (in theory) on the line, I’m back to Game Center, inviting him again. Huh?
Questions seemed to repeat pretty frequently for what they promise are “more than 400 movies.” The developers also state that you’ll discover the top movies in iTunes, suggesting to me that these descriptions are somehow pulled from Apple’s service. I bested Not Josh after several rounds of play, though I’ll readily concede that he knows more movie trivia than I ever will. I tapped faster, I think; also, he claims GGSGamer.com’s Joe Fourhman was messing with him during one of the rounds. Unconfirmed, Not Josh. But I’ll take your word for it. Still, victory was far from sweet. It was also fleeting. I’ve been obliterated in subsequent matches against randomly-assigned, online opponents. I mean just killed. So…I guess somebody out there likes What’s That Movie? after all! I found the game, as I said, to be uneven, repetitive and unrefined. That said, What’s That Movie? is FREE to download, if you only ever intend to play multiplayer matches. Again, maybe you’ll be into it?
I was underwhelmed.
If you must try a free, scrolling-text movie title quiz game for iOS, What’s That Movie? is certainly one of those. It’s not broken, it’s just not great. Otherwise, there are more entertaining (also free) apps to kill time with while on the go.
It’s a Hit!
- Free multiplayer w/ friends or random opponents
- Movie fans may have fun testing their memories
It’s a Flop!
- Text scrolls a bit quickly
- Movie description font changes are jarring
- Why doesn’t “rematch” instantly start another round?
- Very dry, very little personality
Assuming your kid can read and knows a lot about movies, I suppose there’s really nothing to stop him or her from giving it a go. Not a lot of sex and violence in a text-based movie trivia game.