What The Dub? has immediately leapfrogged all games on the Nintendo Switch as the go-to family game in my household. With a library now over 500, that’s some mean feat.
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Is it better than Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or even Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? No. It’s a different kind of game that appeals to all, and you don’t have to be a gamer to play it. All you need is a smartphone (tablets and laptops are fine) to use as an input device, and you’re good to go.
Before What The Dub?, from Wide Right Interactive, our go-to was Use Your Words. Very similar in approach, you watch a small snippet from a film with subtitles and then fill in the missing words shortly afterwards. The player with the best line gets voted for and thus wins the round, and eventual game.
The immediate difference between the two (and no, they’re both equally corny) is the variety. With Use Your Words, there are several rounds ranging from the cinematic pieces through to caption games and ‘insert the missing word’. How did What The Dub? compete with that, considering it only has one mode? Speed.
Forget about that one person trying to come up with something witty, only to deliver something generic (me), or the person intent on filling their response with poo emojis (my eldest daughter). It took a couple of games to get used to, but it makes the pace an enjoyable one.
With only five rounds per game, you need a minimum of three players – y’know, because a two-player would be as helpful as tits on a fish, but the more, the merrier. Naturally, it makes it more of a challenge in numbers as you’ll note secret alliances of boys vs girls and so on. Nobody likes a dad joke, it would seem, so they gang up.
A lazy observation it may seem, but the fun you get out of What The Dub? depends on your company. My family’s pattern was fart and poo jokes, or my wife (non-native English) misspelling or writing an idiom that was slightly off that we’d be in hysterics. Until she’d slap us in the chops for laughing at her expense.
That sentence was fabricated; she’d never do that. It was just me who ended up hurt. Also, if spelling is an issue, you can always add a sound effect, though soon banned this option as should someone lack any ideas, they’d insert a boing, fart or cry, and it became old pretty quick.
But, throw my dad in the mix, and it’s all risky wordplay from an older generation or some of my younger friends who ‘accidentally’ use some f-bombs and then realising my kids are there. This is another fabrication though, as due to the lockdown, we couldn’t have anyone over other than my mum, who’s in our bubble. Naturally, as this has just come out, our fellow Switch friends don’t have the game yet – but we will be recommending.
It wasn’t until much later playing the game that I tinkered with the settings. You can increase those input times I mentioned, change the number of rounds, apply a bad word filter (none came up with the default set at ‘off’). There’s also an achievement list which is only really a bonus as it’s not the kind of game I’d imagine people would actively unlock each one – the enjoyment is purely from the gameplay.
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With only one default style of play and limited to playing this locally, there’s not much else I can say to fill this page. What I will say, despite that possibly negative sentiment, What The Dub? is brilliant. It’s hands down one of the best party games we’ve collectively played and will continue to at every opportunity. It’s also one of the rare titles that my wife will get stuck in and play one game after the next (the other titles are Drawful 2, Plants Vs Zombies and PixelJunk Monsters).
Wholeheartedly recommended, and if you don’t have fun with it, get some new friends/family.
- No skills required other than a sense of humour.
- Quirky clips that push the imagination.
- Swift pacing.
- Play with multiple devices.
- Only one game mode.
- The voiceovers can be hit and miss.
- You can’t involve other players without sight of the screen (that’s a lockdown related point).