That’s You! was revealed at this year’s E3 so it was a bit of a surprise to learn that it would be a PlayStation Plus title the very next month. Developed by UK-based Wish Studios this party game has you gather a group of friends to answer irreverent questions and draw silly pictures. This is all made possible by a new technology called PlayLink, a smartphone app that lets you use your Android or iOS device as a controller. Unfortunately, despite its smart presentation, That’s You! doesn’t have enough tricks up its sleeve to stay in our regular party game rotation.
At first That’s You! feels like a high value production – each theme has a beautiful backdrop, and the introduction menus seem to be tied together with an arthouse 70’s aesthetic. It almost feels like it’s trying too hard to be hip, with the most apparent attempt being the narrator. Seemingly inspired by You Don’t Know Jack the whole experience is guided by a wise-cracking M.C. whose jokes had us groaning before ever eliciting a laugh. Sometimes the narrator’s responses seemed downright bizarre, and completely out of touch with what was happening on the screen. But his purpose is served as he guides you and your friends through a series of questions and drawing sessions which lead to the real source of laughter in That’s You!.
Up to six players can play together, but you can play with as little as two. With two players, That’s You! works as a good way to get to know someone, or see how much you know about that person already. In the two player mode, both players work together to see how many points they can accumulate by answering questions correctly about each other. When you have three or more players, the concept is the same, but it is instead turned into a competitive game where you accumulate points based on others’ answers. If your answer matches someone else’s, you get points. That’s You! is at its most fun when played with larger groups of people.
Each game session follows roughly the same formula, with more people making for a longer game. That’s You! introduces a theme, such as a school, or an amusement park, and asks a series of questions based on that theme. You’ll be answering questions like, “who in your group would most likely argue with a waiter?” or “who in your group would want to be in charge of the park map?” While it’s interesting to see what your friends think of you, or see what answers you can come up with for your friends, the humor wears off quickly. Also, with over 1000 questions to answer it seemed like it would be a while before we ran into repeats, but our group started to answer the same questions within a few sessions. After you answer questions, you will usually pose for a picture, or take a selfie, and everyone gets a chance to draw. Repeat the questions an drawing sessions a few times, and that’s a complete game.
The most fun part of That’s You!, and one that wouldn’t be possible without PlayLink, is the drawing games. My group seemed to have the most fun when we were turning our friends into sports team mascots or drawing each other as mythical creatures. PlayLink allows you to use your Android or iOS compatible device to take pictures, answers questions, and draw using your touchscreen. The experience is quite seamless, with the smartphone controllers working almost flawlessly. We did have people disconnect from the session a couple of times over a few hours, but reconnecting is fast and easy. PlayLink is really the most exciting aspect, with That’s You! being the first game available with its integration. Look out for PlayLink in the future, as it will enable you to play even more games socially with friends using your smartphone or tablet.
That’s You! is a bit of a one-trick-pony. With no skill-based games it may be accessible to a wider audience of people, but if you have a group of friends that regularly gather to play games it will get stale quickly. It is certainly amusing for a few rounds, even if you want to just try out the emerging PlayLink technology, but it is a game to play at a party, not a game to gather a party around. Unless it’s something already available to you via PlayStation Plus, $20 seems a little steep for so little content. Available on PlayStation 4, That’s You! is available now on PSN.