A good multiplayer game can transform the mundane into fast paced fun. Many iOS multiplayer games rely on turn based multiplayer to connect people that aren’t close by, but what about the people that are close by? Heads Up! delivers a game style that has been done before whether it’s Indian Poker, HedBanz, or just slapping a sticky note on your forehead. An item is written on the card you place on your forehead, and the other player tries to give you hints to help you guess that item. With Heads Up! the iPhone is the card holder with the word to guess, and it comes to us courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres, and Impending software (developers of Clear).
Multiplayer games on iOS are so valuable because you always have your iPhone with you, and one app can create a game wherever you’re at. Heads Up! in particular can be started in an instant, and it’s just bursting with fun. It’s hilarious to see the back and forth that is used to try to guess the given words as each one of our minds thinks of a different way to describe these items. Each round is only 60 seconds, and it feels a bit like $25,000 Pyramid with giving, and guessing in a race against the clock. The game makes you really appreciate the thought process of who you’re playing with, like Say the Same Thing, and the speed component enhances the mistakes for even more enjoyment.
The app itself is superbly well designed with such ornate graphics to depict each category of cards. Also, in-game you mark items as correct or pass by flipping the device up or down, and you can initiate a new round with a single swipe. One of the neatest features is that the app records the player giving the clues, which you can also share. The main drawback is that there aren’t that many different cards within individual card packs. After a few rounds of the animals category, for instance, the game then supplied the same animal cards in the exact same order. To make matters worse, there are only seven card packs with not too many distinct cards per pack, and the ten other card packs are $0.99 each. It would also be nice to see an options panel with player profiles, leader boards, achievements, or ability to adjust the time limit all in an attempt to give longer term incentive to keep playing. The game is solely local multiplayer, but it would be nice to see an online option that uses Game Center voice chat to let others who live long distances apart share the experience.
Heads Up! ($0.99, iPhone) is perfect for quick pick up and play to engage with friends, and have one great time with a huge share of laughs.