Before I even put Truth or Lies inside my 360 I knew that there was going to be a problem. Iâ€™m not talking about the fact that it requires a microphone and wonâ€™t work with the Xbox 360â€™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 youâ€™re with the right company. I mean, heaven forbid you play this at Christmas with your dear old grandma and get the question â€œdo you have any tattoos nobody knows about?â€
The presentation is fashioned the American way – loud and brash. The questions are also mostly linked to American culture. Great if youâ€™re an American; not so if youâ€™re from jolly Great Britain. Hereâ€™s a fine example: â€œWould you like to be able to dunk for $5,000?â€ I assume thatâ€™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. â€œWould you rather have porkchops for ears or sausages for lips?â€ How can you even answer that truthfully, let alone lie about it?
There isnâ€™t a polygon in sight but there is a degree of technology going on behind the scenes. When setting up a profile youâ€™re asked to tell a few lies and truths for calibration purposes and then after every question your voice is analysed to judge whether youâ€™re fibbing or not. After an hour or so of messing around I discovered that the technology isnâ€™t anything particularly special. Hesitate, mumble and â€˜umm and errrâ€™ during answers then it will more often than not say that youâ€™re lying. Answer a question straight away with an upbeat voice though then it will nearly always say youâ€™re telling the truth. Annoyingly, you canâ€™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 wonâ€™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 – thereâ€™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. â€œDo I really sound like that?â€ Yes, you do, you idiot. Oh, and if youâ€™re a Gamerscore whore then youâ€™ll love this one – I managed to unlock every achievement in just over an hour without any difficulty. And thatâ€™s no lie.
Although not the worst game to be released this year itâ€™s still in the running because once the novelty of making a fool out of yourself wears off, youâ€™re left with a very basic and shallow piece of software. Youâ€™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.