One of the more surprising parts of Sony’s E3 2017 pre-show this year was the unveiling of That’s You via a gameplay trailer featuring everybody’s favourite President of Sony Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida. It seemed like a fun game, albeit a niche, gimmicky party title that couldn’t contend with the likes of Insomniac’s Spider-Man game or the new God of War. After all, can a game based around selfies and smartphones really be that fun?
The answer is: tremendously
Playable with up to five other people, Wish Studios’ latest is enjoyed by downloading a companion app to your smartphone. What’s great about this is that app isn’t devoid of purpose by itself: as well as using it to play the game, you can also make your own drawings and pen your own questions for the game, as well as play a separate game called Pass It On – essentially a lite version of the base game entirely focused on drawing – that can be tackled without a PS4.
It’s not like the base game isn’t simple, however – and this is very much a good thing. After choosing cards to represent each player followed by a bit of selfie-taking – being photogenic is helpful here – the virtual briefcase containing the "game" is opened and your group is carted off to a variety of settings that represent different subjects. You could be dropped in a cosy long-distance train complete with bunks, in a creepy attic full of dolls heads and dusty furniture, or even in a hotel room in Paris overlooking the skyline. Not only are these environments varied, but they’re also quite pretty to look at – especially the campsite, with its setting sun and quaint view.
What’s great about That’s You is that the game adjusts depending on how many players you have. If there are only two playing, the title becomes co-operative, with both players sharing a score tally. Here, one player is chosen to be the subject of the questions – usually situational ones, such as “If you heard a bear while they were in their tent would you run back to the car or stay?” – and if both players answer the same then points are given. It’s designed to test how well you know each other – sort of like All Star Mr & Mrs except Phillip Schofield sadly isn’t there.
While this mode is fun, That’s You really comes into its own as a party game when played with three or more people. The more players there are, the more rounds there are – one round in a different setting for each player followed by a final round. The game also becomes competitive, each player having their own individual score, although still the only way to score points is to answer the same as your fellow players. Jokers can also to used to double your points tally if you feel confident that other players will answer the same as you – although each player only starts with three.
Here, questions become more varied and entertaining – and even sometimes uncomfortable in the case of the the romantically-themed questions. The most common question is the choice question, in which your group is asked something along the lines of “Which player is most likely to get arrested in a foreign country?” and you then each choose which player applies best. Not only are these questions fun, but they also tell you how others think of you – usually for the worse.
In a typical round, after a few of these questions, the game will then focus on one player in particular. Picture questions (in which you have a to choose an on-screen picture that best represents the player in a certain situation) and word questions (Cards Against Humanity-style games in which you have to finish off the player’s sentence) are often used.
Perhaps the most fun you’ll have in That’s You, however – and that’s saying something – is when the cameras get involved. Mimic questions task you with trying to mimic a face on screen, while drawing questions require one player to pose while the others take pictures of them and draw on them to make them look like, say, a circus strongman or a cleaner. The final round takes this concept and runs with it further, requiring all players to take selfies before passing around the pictures numerous times so that each player can draw on each other. All of these yield great results – if not good drawings, then lots of laughter.
Yet what ties this all together is the games master who walks you through each game. Not only does he explain things with clarity and simplicity – especially helpful when playing with those who don’t game often – but he often goes off on ludicrous tangents concerning each question, which are often genuinely funny. Some of what he says isn’t great around family – one rant about a nightmare involving him getting to first base is particularly awkward, as this mentally-scarred reviewer has experienced, so it’s probably best to stick with your friends.
It’s telling that the biggest complaint we have about That’s You is that the games don’t go on for long enough. It’s nice that you can fit quite a few games of it into your game night, but it would neat to at least have the option to extend the game length. Then again, if our one major complaint is that we can’t play it as long as we’d like to, is that really such a bad thing?
With an entertaining atmosphere, plenty of settings, and over 1,000 questions, That's You is an absolute blast with mates – and in this case, the more the merrier. Questions can get hilarious, awkward, crazy, or just downright weird, but what is guaranteed is that you'll be having a hugely fun time. Thanks to its focus on self-deprecation, creativity, and absurdity, Wish Studios' latest is up there with Jackbox and Sportsfriends as an essential for game nights. And the best thing? It's free on PlayStation Plus for the next few months.