Awkward Review - Asking The Real Questions

Awkward

Not to brag or anything, but my place tends to be the hotspot for party games. Whenever I have friends and family over, we always boot up a multiplayer experience to get everyone involved. That’s why a game like Awkward was a must-have for me.

Having played it solo, in a group, and online via Share Play, I’m ready to discuss the verdict on this party games. With a slew of questions intended to make you uncomfortable or downright angry, does this unique take on the genre earn itself a place in your party lineup? Read on to find out!

The Allegedly Banned Party Game Returns

Awkward has a hilarious disclaimer when you boot it up that tells the story of a party game that caused bar fights, broke up marriages, and was ultimately banned. Now, thanks to the developers at SnapFingerClick, the game has been revived.

The game can be played alone where you try to guess how the rest of the world answered, and with up to six players total in a variety of modes. Solo works just fine, but I really enjoyed playing with Christina in co-op mode.

I also had a group of friends over, including my brother who lives nearby, to test the game out one night. Playing with a full group was a blast as the questions absolutely started a few arguments between us.

The game offers both a Match Up mode and a Teamplay mode for larger groups. Match Up places people into random pairs to answer questions, while Teamplay keeps everyone in their own teams of two.

Questions are offered with two choices. The first person picks their answer in secret, while the second person has to try and guess what their partner picked. By choosing to use a single controller, Awkward is incredibly accessible as you can simply pass it around the room.

While other party games have recently started using smartphone apps, I appreciated the simplicity that Awkward offers in this regard. It can be a logistical nightmare sometimes trying to onboard someone new when they need to download an app, for example.

Now, let’s talk about those questions, shall we? In my experience, the first round of each match typically stays pretty tame, but the questions get more uncomfortable as you go on. If you’re playing Co-op, the game will also ask about your relationship to the other person and your sexual orientation to better tailor the experience.

Beyond standard opinion questions, Awkward will ask you some really uncomfortable things like “Who is more likely to cheat?” Some of the questions are downright disgusting such as the one that asked if I would rather walk in on my mom or dad having sex. It’s awkward for sure, but a question like that just had me shaking my head and moving on as quickly as possible.

So, while the questions can push the limits of what is funny, Awkward did something else I didn’t expect at all: it got us talking about modern social and political issues. Now, I know that sounds boring, but it was actually amazing.

Awkward

Party games are usually completely detached from the real world, or if they have any relation, it’s for pop culture. Awkward crosses the humor spectrum at times to bring up some pretty heavy questions. Here are some examples that I encountered:

  • Do you think overpopulation is a problem?
  • Is a child worse off if they have gay parents?
  • If you could only save one person, who would it be? (a child or an older person)

Yeah, those kinds of questions. What’s even more interesting is that, regardless of the mode you choose, Awkward shows you what the rest of the world said in a pie chart. More often than not, I agreed with my friends and family on these heavier questions, but the moment we saw everyone else’s answers, it got us talking.

It didn’t stop the game, but it did raise discussions surrounding real issues and our feelings on them. Never in a million years did I expected a party game to do that. It was honestly very refreshing.

So, while some of the questions may be in poor taste for certain players, Awkward most certainly lives up to its name. I did see some of the questions repeat, but it was only one or two, so this is one that will keep you busy for quite some time.

A Mixture of Styles

Awkward

The visuals in Awkward are all over the place. From the game’s mascot to the classical paintings used to represent your matchability between rounds, to the teabags in the pause menu. It’s not very cohesive, but it is unique and weird in all the right ways.

I got a kick out of the narration that pops in at the end of each question pair. If you agree, a woman’s voice will either say “aw, isn’t that cute?” or just gag from the cuteness. When you pick separate answers, the game’s mascot pops in to say “That’s awkward!” or some phrase to that effect.

Awkward is a simple, but very effective party game that surprised me in a lot of ways. While some of the questions step a toe over the line, the game succeeds in making things awkward in (mostly) all the right ways.

Final Score: 8.0/10

A copy of Awkward was provided to PS4 Experts for review purposes

Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert date - 6/15/18

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