In the lead-up to its arrival, Awkward hyped itself as a legendary card game from the 1800s that was banned by the government due to the amount of arguments it caused. Whether or not that’s true is beside the point but it’s a proposition that is sure to both excite and concern those who want to play it. A relatively straightforward premise, Awkward aims to ask difficult questions as you battle to prove how much you know about a loved one or a friend.
The game can be played in three modes: on your own, against one other person or pitting teams against each other. If you play the game solo, you have to answer questions based on what you think other people say when they play the game. Playing with another person, you can specify the nature of your relationship to tailor the questions to suit your situation. In that mode each player takes it in turn to answer a question before passing the controller so the other one can guess what answer they selected.
The mode most likely to be played here is pitting teams against each other. This requires you to team up with another person and try to beat the other team(s) playing the game. After a few drinks this is probably the best way to play the game and I’m sure it might cause some arguments among the easily offended or sensitive.
I played through each of the modes and to be honest I didn’t find the questions as sensational as the pre-release buzz suggested. When we live in a world where Cards Against Humanity exists, Awkward comes off as very tame. The questions range from ‘would you rather’ type scenarios with a few personal ones scattered in. The latter type are designed to embarrass you or cause an argument but they just weren’t controversial enough. I played with the co-op mode with my partner and we didn’t even edge close to an argument after playing it several times through.
Awkward is a no-frills game. It’s infused a Monty Python-esque aesthetic into the design but the repetitive audio bites that play after you answer a question quickly become annoying. The pace of the game is also pretty slow. Everyone knows that a good card game should be played quick but Awkward is a bit laborious. After every question you have to wait to be told what other players picked when they were asked the same question. It starts off interesting but very quickly becomes boring and holds up the play.
Multiple plays showed that the game easily gets repetitive too. Again, likening it to something like Cards Against Humanity, which can give you a few hours of play in one session, I was reaching to switch off my console after only playing Awkward a handful of times. The rounds are very short so you don’t get to answer many questions and the loading time following each answer feels longer than then the time you actually play the game.
An additional feature of Awkward is to live stream the game. You need the PS4 camera in order to do this and honestly, I’m not sure who would be all that interested. The feature lets viewers participate in your game to try and get to the top of the leaderboard. It’s an interesting addition but not one that I was itching to spend a lot of time with.
For me Awkward didn’t really deliver. The questions were too tame, the game play a bit clunky and slow, and the repeat play value very low. I can see what Snap Finger Click were trying to do but I don’t feel it really worked. The pacing of the game is a big problem and when playing with multiple teams, it feels more like an arduous ordeal than a fun and edgy game. The only Awkward thing about this game, is how disappointing it is.
Publisher/Developer: Snap Finger Click Release date: 5th June 2018 Reviewed on: PS4 Also available on: PC (Steam), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch