That’s You! Review – Mobile Inconvenience (PS4)
One of the most surprising reveals at E3 2017 was Sony’s announcement that they were embracing the trend of playing console games with smartphones, as they’re launching an entire line of games under the PlayLink banner. This comes after Jackbox Games managed to turn their games (You Don’t Know Jack, Fibbage, etc.) into social hits, and other developers (such as Ubisoft allowing players to play Just Dance with their phones) have latched onto the technology. The first title in the PlayLink line, called That’s You!, comes from Wish Studios, and has been marketed as a “social quiz.”
That’s You! is currently free for all PlayStation Plus subscribers, although it’ll become $19.99 on October 24, which makes it a worthwhile purchase on the PlayStation Store whether or not you plan on playing it right now. Since it’s a PlayLink title, players will have to put away their DualShock 4 controllers and pull out an iOS or Android device. I mostly played it on my iPad Pro, but I tried it out on my old Android phone and it the program worked fine on that as well.
Unlike Jackbox Games’ titles, which have players simply going to a website and entering a room code to play, That’s You! requires more of an investment from players. To get started, I had to download a free iOS app (also called That’s You!), and then make sure my devices were connected to the same WiFi hotspot that my PS4 was. For those that don’t have a wireless connection point available, the game can actually turn the PS4 into one for the purpose of the game. It’s a cool feature, even if the setup is more of a hassle than it should be. This limits the social gathering party appeal of the game, as convincing everyone in a party to download an app is an extra step in the process that’ll undoubtedly have someone asking why they don’t just play Fibbage instead.
My first experience with That’s You! was in the game’s two-player mode, which has players finding out just how well they know their playing partner. The way rounds will generally play out is that one of the two players will be forced into a scenario (such as going to a rock concert or being dared to prank a teacher), and they’ll have to put how they’d respond out of the two choices the game gives them. It’s then up to the other player to guess what they’d do, if they guess correctly then everyone earns points. If not, nobody wins. It’s basically a limited version of Match Game, but with some selfie taking weaved in-between (more on that later). Generally, these questions are fun to answer, although sometimes the choices presented seem more lame than entertaining.
Things really open up when the game is played with three or more players (it goes up to six), as the scoring becomes competitive. The way the game generally works is the same, though, and players earn points by having the same answers as others. It’s ultimately an exercise in group think. New to the extended group are questions that have players filling in blanks, and then voting for them. This is always a bit awkward, as the player who wrote the successful answer isn’t the one earning points (as players aren’t really voting for the funniest joke) unless they (and others) voted for themselves.
The most fun I had wasn’t when I picked which friend of mine was most likely to lie about cooking food they had delivered, but when the game used the phone’s more unique features. I regularly laughed out loud when the game asked us all to take selfies in order to mimic a picture, and it was fun showing off my inner van Gogh when That’s You! tasked me with editing images via a touchscreen painting tool. These are the few areas where it truly takes advantage of being a PlayLink title, and it sold me on the future of the platform.
That’s You! actually supports online play, which means people across the world can join together and play. This should be the coolest feature of the game, but sadly there’s a constraint that basically kills its appeal. Only one player per console can play online. This meant that two groups couldn’t join together, and that there need to be six PS4 consoles connected for a full match to happen. It really makes no sense to limit the online in this way, as it’s all about getting people to play together locally.
Despite this shortcoming, I really enjoyed my time with Wish Studios’ debut PlayLink title. That’s You! has an incredibly slick presentation filled with some fantastic sets that go with the questions being asked, and a likable narrator (although one not nearly as charming as You Don’t Know Jack‘s Cookie Masterson). I wish it wasn’t so much of a hassle to get into matches (both locally and online), but the game attempts to justify its app by offering a bare-bones mobile-only mode (that has players doodling on selfies) and the ability to add their own questions to the mix. These are nice ideas, but they aren’t worth the barrier to entry.
After playing That’s You!, I’m really looking forward to what PlayLink will have to offer in the future. Sony really has the potential to create some fantastic games going forward, and Wish Studios have created a game that’ll join my social rotation (as long as I can convince my friends to download the app). It’s a great proof of concept as to why mobile and console gaming can complement each other, and don’t always need to be separated.
That’s You! was purchased by reviewer. Reviewed on PS4 Pro and iPad Pro. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy here.