That’s You! is a PlayStation console-mobile hybrid game that is part of Sony’s new initiative, PlayLink, which comprises of a series of social party games, which attempts to provide gamers with a more social experience, like that of The Jackbox Party Pack (“Jackbox“) games.
The PlayLink initiative essentially bridges the gap between the mobile phone and console gaming experience and lets players use their mobile device as a controller, allowing them to perform a multitude of touchscreen gestures, as well as taking selfies to play the PlayLink games. The highlight of this, is that it allows for more people to play together, rather than being restricted to the number of Dual Shock controllers available. In addition, being able to play on mobile devices means that there is no need to learn the controls or how to use a controller properly in order to play the games.
The first to release in the PlayLink series, That’s You! is a social trivia game that showcases how well you know your friends. It is currently free to download for PlayStation Plus subscribers and requires a group of people to play with. Over the weekend, being my birthday, we had the chance to test out the game with friends and family.
Having played all three of the Jackbox games at various parties and social occasions in the past, we were excited to see how That’s You! compares, especially being an exclusive PlayStation title. The interface of the game was aesthetically stunning, with vintage visuals filled with odd little knick-knacks and thematic backgrounds reminiscent of happy childhood memories, such as camping in the wilderness, a kitchen filled with sugary breakfast goodness and colourful, decorated tree-houses. The visuals certainly gave us a sense of nostalgia and put us in a good mood from the get go. However, whilst the game’s visuals were fantastic, the game itself, sadly, didn’t live up to our expectations, especially in comparison to other online and mobile party games.
The Jackbox games simply require players to input a ‘room code’ into a mobile website to begin playing and at the very least, draw a quick picture as a profile image. That’s You!, on the other hand, requires a more tedious and time-consuming step, which includes having to download the required app and then take a selfie to associate with a player profile. These steps, in comparison with other online party games like Jackbox, felt unnecessary and led to some of us having to wait on others to complete their downloads and take the ‘right selfie’. This delay meant that some of the excitement to jump into the game began to dwindle as the momentum was lost.
Of course, using real life images of ourselves to draw on each other’s photos and associate each selfie with particular characteristics makes for a more fun and entertaining experience, however, our interest began to fade with the lack of momentum to keep the game fun and progressing at a steady pace.
Playing That’s You! became rather dull after a couple of rounds, particularly due to the slow pacing of each round and the uninspiring music accompanying the game. For a social, party game, it was surprising that the soundtrack wasn’t very upbeat. This is where the Jackbox games reigns supreme, with its quick, punchy and witty in-game narration, steady gameplay momentum and a party soundtrack that puts players in a relaxed, party mood.
That’s You! certainly had a great premise and was a solid first attempt at bringing PlayStation gamers and their friends together for a social experience, however, with other online and mobile party games already dominating the market, it’s going to take a bit more on PlayStation’s part to be up to par.