If 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! ($1.99) 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.