The Switch isn’t short of great party games, so we did wonder whether Heads Up! Phones Down Edition would bring enough that’s new to the, er, party.
Ultimately it’s not short of charm, but is let down by one major problem. Which we’ll get to soon enough.
The gameplay is simple enough. You have one player who draws cards from a virtual deck, and then has to have the other players guess the words written on those cards (or vice versa). Once they’ve guessed successfully it’s onto the next card, and you have sixty seconds to clear as many as possible.
However the player drawing the cards might have to shout out clues to describe the word, act them out, or even sing them. This is never quite as easy as you’d expect, and the chaotic element is the main draw here.
That and the huge amount of decks you can play with, with each one covering a different topic. Be it desserts, sports, videogames, and much more. We found there was a range to suit every taste and age group.
The game works best with a large group of people, split into two teams – but playing one on one can be enjoyable too.
That’s all there really is to Heads Up! Phones Down Edition then, but even with such a simple set up there are still issues. One of the minor ones we encountered was the localisation, with this being far too America-centric.
With a cartoon version of Ellen DeGeneres looming large in the game’s key art that perhaps shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise, but it’s shocking how many Americanisms and America-only items are included here. Sometimes we were forced to pass on a card simply as we had no idea what it was – and knew the person guessing wouldn’t know either.
Now that wouldn’t be so much of an issue if it wasn’t for the main proble we have with the game, which is its insanely high pricetag. A digital copy costs £35.99, which is a ridiculously high price considering the lack of localisation work done as well as the bare bones presentation.
You get a lot of decks to play with, sure – but we would still expect a much more refined party game experience for such an outlay.
So with that in mind we’d only truly recommend Heads Up! Phones Down Edition when it’s on sale, and even then you may be better off investigating some of the other more unique party titles the Switch has to offer first.
- Great fun in big groups
- Loads of categories to pick from
- No attempt to localise the decks
- Presentation is bare bones