Forget the rather ‘twee’ Truth or Dare that you may, or may not, have played in your formative years. With THQ’s new variation on the format Truth or Lies becomes a whole different ball game as it brings the arty classic into the digital age.
Releasing what looks almost certain to be an absolute hit with casual gamers and family players alike, THQ has brought the party favourite back to life with its fresh new take on the age-old game. Using a fine blend of technology and witchcraft the award-winning developers have managed to create a system that allows the game to ‘read’ the reactions of the players taking part by formatting the responses to three previously asked positive questions. Thus gauging from the person’s manner of speaking and pitch and tone when they answer some of the more, *ahem* ‘challenging’ of the questions set to them.
The game itself is an easy on the eye affair with standard issue graphics for a title that falls into the ‘Party Game’ genre. Don’t expect to see Final Fantasy style contestants sweeping their hair from side to side as they prattle on about the 100 years of story history, this is a game that has been designed for its ease of use, use of gameplay and ease on the eye to the more casual gamers out there who just want to pop the disc in when they have a few friends round and enjoy the results. So in that respect it does exactly what THQ set out to achieve. Nothing more and nothing less. It does just what it says on the box.
The format is simple enough, you gather a posse of pals from 1-8 and using the USB microphone, ( or wired whichever is your choice? ), you and your band of soon to vitally probed chums will enter into a selection of two alternate modes from which you will receive your Jerry Springer-esque probing from your mates. So convincing are some of the ways that the game picks up on your responses, and also at the way your friends will ridicule you if you are caught out attempting to lie, at times you almost feel like a panelist on daytime TV’s Jeremy Kyle Show before leaping from your armchair crying out, “Ok I admit it I am the baby’s father!”
Before you can commence your journey into ‘Lie Detector Heaven’ you must first set up your profile so that the game can best read your responses from the questions soon to be put to you. A painless affair that is easy to operate and over in a matter of a few moments. From here you jump right into the modes, which consist of Normal and the highly entertaining Hot Seat mode where the attention of your interrogation really gets a grilling that would make the C.I.A. proud.
A word to the wise here though folks, and that is to pay particular attention to the option to carefully select the appropriate ‘age group’ for those members of your party taking part in the game, as some of the questioning in the Adults and Couples section may be considered a little ‘racy’ by some standards. There are four separate age groups on offer and we do suggest that you take full advantage of them and use the questions that are as close to the age group of the people concerned.
All in all there are no questions in the game that could cause anything that should even remotely be deemed as offensive. That is not, to say, that some of the questions in the adult and couple sections may not have the kind of answers to them that your teenage son or daughter will want to hear coming from the mouths of their parents. Offensive? No chance. Embarrassing…? Aah, well that’s kind of the whole point to the game, isn’t it?
Don’t be fooled into believing what a few other reviewers out there would like you to believe in that the technology does not work in the game and therefore you would be better off just playing a ‘normal’ game of Truth or Dare. Rubbish! This isn’t a lie detector by any stretch of the imagination, but when we invited a few friends round for drinks and a spot of Truth or Lies during the review what we found was that if you just get into the swing of the game and play it in the lighthearted and fun manner that it was intended to be played, and not attempting to compare a videogame to some kind of real life Guantanamo style interrogation device, then you will have a cracking night and good few giggles along the way as you and your friends put each other through all kinds of squirming situations. The fact that you have chosen to purchase this kind of game in the first place must indicate that you are more of a fun-loving person than the ‘stick in the muds’ who have attempted to pull this title up for its lack of being a ‘real lie detector,’ and should go some way as to indicate the kind of people who are currently reviewing videogames. If you like having a good giggle with your mates and not afraid to laugh at yourself a little along the way then buy this game and stick it on whenever you are having a party and turn yourself into the ‘hostess with the mostess.’
Graphics: Clean and solid with clear-cut on-screen instructions that make for easy to understand gameplay and rules. It may not be up there challenging for any visual awards at the next Golden Joystick’s but then again it was never designed to be. This is a fun game with the emphasis on the fun.
Gameplay: Simply great fun and easy to comprehend. No nonsense gaming that will bring a smile to all who play the game. With little to other than settle in with friends and have a good time this is one for the family to enjoy time and again. 7
RePlay Value: No doubt there will be a wave of gamers purchasing Truth or Lies for the coming party season, and for good reason. The simplicity of the handling and the gameplay makes for an easy experience at events and get togethers where the players will have very little to do other than turn the game on and enjoy. With DLC being a given Truth or Lies will be one that gets brought out time and again at parties, events and family get togethers. A genuinely enjoyable title. 7
Presentation: THQ have a winner on their hands with Truth or Lies regardless of the naysayers that will try to convince you otherwise. Casual gaming has seen such an upsurge in recent years and this title is sure to please the target audience no end. 8