heads-up-icon-150x150If you imagine a venn diagram where one circle is people who read TouchArcade and the other circle is people who watch The Ellen Show on the reg', I'm really not sure what (if any) overlap there'd be. Regardless of whether you're an Ellen superfan or you don't even know who Ellen DeGeneres is, you need to check out the new iOS game she's throwing her proverbial brand muscle behind. It's called Heads Up! [$0.99] and I think the best way to describe it is Spaceteam you can play with your Mom.

In Spaceteam [Free] you're playing with a gang of nerds, each with their own iOS device, with everyone laughing and shouting random sci-fi-ish to everyone else. Heads Up! has a very similar party game vibe when you're playing, with two main benefits: You only need a single iOS device, and gameplay revolves around pop culture charades that anyone can get into. If you watch Ellen, you're probably totally familiar with the style of charades she does, if not, check out this video of the Heads Up! game being played on her show:

In a nutshell, you get a group of people together, load up the app, select a category, and then hold your iPhone (or iPad) up to your forehead. From there, you've got 60 seconds where a word will appear on the screen, everyone else shouts clues, and you try to guess it. If you get it right, you tilt your device down, if you can't get it and want to skip you tilt up. It sounds basic, but even beta versions of the game that randomly would appear at bars and restaurants of GDC was a ton of fun.

Cooler yet, Heads Up! utilizes the front camera of your device in a super clever way. As you're playing, it's recording everything, and showing the word(s) you're supposed to be guessing in the saved recording. So, if you have a particularly silly game, you're only a few buttons away from blasting that footage up to Twitter, your own Facebook, or even the Heads Up! Facebook page which I'm guessing will be used to feature the best videos on the actual Ellen show.

Here's the video exported from the play session seen in the previous video:

The only down side to Heads Up! is that outside of a social situation there's really not much for you to do, but, that's the case for all party games. Still, you should drop a buck on Heads Up! and keep it in the same folder on your iPhone that you keep Space Team in so next time you're out with friends you can bust this bad boy out and see how long it'll take you to guess "Captain Jack Sparrow" from your friends' terrible barrage of clues.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jpaterson1 James D Paterson

    In the first paragraph of your article:

    "you need to check out the new iOS game she's throwing her proverbial brand muscle behind. It's called Heads Up! [Free] and I think the best way to describe it is Spaceteam you can play with your Mom."

    You say it's free. Yet at the end of the article, you say "you should drop a buck" and have an app store link with $0.99 in it.

    So... Is it free or is it $0.99?

  • Guest

    Aslo, the [free] link, links to spaceteam. not heads up.

  • Soupy

    I can play this game on piece of paper.


    • oooooomonkey

      Just what I was thinking, with the bonus of not requiring a group of people all with iPhones -_-

      • monoclespectacle

        Only one idevice is required, unlike Spaceteam.

    • Adams Immersive

      Paper is cheaper, too--but has a worse camera and gets crumpled in your pocket.

      • monoclespectacle

        Not only that but I would really love to see someone bust out with a legal pad during a party and exclaim,"Who the eff wants to play some analog Heads Up!?!?".

      • Soupy

        That's how it's always been done before....

      • monoclespectacle

        So by that measure, we should never change. We should never advance, we should never update old ideas to fit with a new world.

        Go back to your cave (or bridge) troll.

      • Soupy

        Playing chess, or solitaire, or any old game is very possible on an iPad. That doesn't mean we're changing! You're still playing the SAME old game people have been playing for over a hundred years!

        I'm not saying we shouldn't advance, but if you think waving a flashy screen above your head to play a decades-old game is advancement, then your very idea of it is ironic.

      • monoclespectacle

        The advancement is in the device (which you admit in your first paragraph). As a rebuttal to your second paragraph: Now that electronic devices have been made extremely affordable to the masses, paper is becoming less relevant. Which in all honesty, is probably not too bad of a deal. It's saving trees that are actually doing something for the planet, unlike a big chunk of homosapien.

        Now if you wish to continue using paper to play this game, then by all means continue to do so. It is your opinion that the game is superior on that format and I respect it as such. But know that a ton of folks disagree with you, as evidenced by the prevalence of idevices in the world, sales of this app in particular and promotion on Ellen.

      • Lori

        Love your responses, I concur lol Do you have any idea why my tablet flips and tilts on any other app but for the pass and play "tilt" motion, it doesn't sense it. I have tried even the other apps like this one and it still doesn't. Wondering if there is something I need to turn on or what is the deal? Please help I LOOOOVE this game!

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Can't you play basically -any- game on a piece of paper? It's like scoffing at a roleplaying game because you've got a library of D&D books. Yeah, of course you can play solitaire if you've got a deck of cards, but the convenience factor makes it worth a dollar to not always need to carry cards with you. This game is no different.

      • Soupy

        But in this case it's actually more convenient to play it WITH paper. For one thing you don't have to hold the paper on your head the whole time, it sticks there. And everyone else can play at the same time.

        Another thing is that I don't have to worry if my piece of paper falls from my head to the floor. Whoever thinks that swinging a $500 tablet above their heads at a party is a good idea, must really be desperate for some party atmosphere. Especially if they're risking hundreds of dollars over a one buck purchase.

      • monoclespectacle

        Opinions = facts.

        You heard it here first.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        This is the weirdest line of reasoning I've seen in a while. Let's just agree to disagree as I don't even know how to respond to this.

  • nomster

    I think there's been an editorial goof!

    The headline above reads, 'As Featured on "The Ellen Show," 'Heads Up!' is a Party Game You Need'

    When it is probably meant to be, As Featured on "The Ellen Show," 'Heads Up!' is a Party Game You Need Like a Hole in the Head.'

    Hopefully this will be amended.

    • monoclespectacle

      Say what you want, this already shot to number one on the paid chart.

      • albinosalad

        The power of the daytime talk show viewing demographic.

    • MidianGTX

      So you think you're above simple party games, that's nice.

  • Jerutix

    Don't knock it till you've tried it.

    I was going to a get together with friends today, so I bought it. The 12 of us had a blast playing it! It was a group of non-gamers, and they took to it immediately. The concept is really fun and well executed, and it looked pretty good on my iPad mini (for an iPhone only app).

    We were having such a good time that I grabbed another 9 sets of cards with IAP. $10 for a game that a bunch of people didn't want to stop playing after 2.5 hours... worth it.

  • http://twitter.com/MeekinOnMovies Paul Meekin

    So, did you know if you buy this game on an iPhone 3GS or iPad 1 it won't work due to the lack of front facing camera? I want my dollar back!

    • http://www.facebook.com/phillryu Phillip Ryu

      Hey Paul, hang tight! About to submit an update fixing that issue, it was a really silly one to pass under our radar.

      • http://twitter.com/MeekinOnMovies Paul Meekin

        No problem! I look forward to playing! Thanks for the info!

      • Lori

        I do have the front and back camera and it still won't sense the "tilt" motion. I paid a buck too and LOVE this game, how can I play it?? My tablet is on the list of ones that can work with this game and I can tilt/rotate and flip on any other app but this one just doesn't sense to pass or play

  • Amy Williams Hansen

    Do you have to have an internet connection to play the game once it is downloaded?

  • Lori

    Does anyone know why my pass or next "tilt" motion doesn't work? My tablet rotates and flips the screen but ONLY this function doesn't work. Am I suppose to turn something on/off? If I can tilt it on any other game why can't I pass or play on this app?

  • jenny

    And.... when I save the videos, where do they end up?? I cant find them....

    If it's an iPhone, you have to pay a buck. But if it's an android, it's free.

    • Krista

      Where do you go to find the videos ? I'm a new smart phone (android) user and am clueless..... HELP !

  • http://www.projectfellowship.com/ Andrew Burgon

    I played this game recently with a few friends. It was fun. It has 18 themed decks and I think they have recently added two more decks one of which is allowing you to mix them. Now available for Android devices as well.

    One of the cool things I like about the game is that it takes a video of whoever is giving the clues. These videos can be a lot of fun generating smiles and laughter afterwards.