Truth or Lies

Before I even put Truth or Lies inside my 360 I knew that there was going to be a problem. I’m not talking about the fact that it requires a microphone and won’t work with the Xbox 360’s headset (you know, the one that nearly all Xbox owners have access to) but rather the fact that party games like this are only good fun if you’re with the right company. I mean, heaven forbid you play this at Christmas with your dear old grandma and get the question “do you have any tattoos nobody knows about?”

The presentation is fashioned the American way – loud and brash. The questions are also mostly linked to American culture. Great if you’re an American; not so if you’re from jolly Great Britain. Here’s a fine example: “Would you like to be able to dunk for $5,000?” I assume that’s something to do with basketball rather than dipping biscuits into tea. But even so, many of the questions – such as the former example – are downright bizarre. “Would you rather have porkchops for ears or sausages for lips?” How can you even answer that truthfully, let alone lie about it?

There isn’t a polygon in sight but there is a degree of technology going on behind the scenes. When setting up a profile you’re asked to tell a few lies and truths for calibration purposes and then after every question your voice is analysed to judge whether you’re fibbing or not. After an hour or so of messing around I discovered that the technology isn’t anything particularly special. Hesitate, mumble and ‘umm and errr’ during answers then it will more often than not say that you’re lying. Answer a question straight away with an upbeat voice though then it will nearly always say you’re telling the truth. Annoyingly, you can’t just give one word answers even if the question can only realistically be answered with just one word – you need to speak for at least 10 seconds into the mic or it won’t register.

Each player is allowed to skip three questions (presumably to save themselves being embarrassed) and when starting a game you can choose to be asked questioned aimed at kids, couples or families. As well as the main game – which can be played with up to 7 others – there’s also a hot seat mode where you can record the questions yourself. Hearing your voice played back through the TV is amusing. At least for the first few times, anyway. “Do I really sound like that?” Yes, you do, you idiot. Oh, and if you’re a Gamerscore whore then you’ll love this one – I managed to unlock every achievement in just over an hour without any difficulty. And that’s no lie.

Although not the worst game to be released this year it’s still in the running because once the novelty of making a fool out of yourself wears off, you’re left with a very basic and shallow piece of software. You’d be much better off buying some booze and playing something like true or dare the old fashion way, without having a nagging narrator ask you to repeat your answer for the umpteenth time.

Matt Gander

Matt is Games Asylum's most prolific writer, having produced a non-stop stream of articles since 2001. A retro collector and bargain hunter, his knowledge has been found in the pages of tree-based publication Retro Gamer.

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