Truth or Dare on the iPad is New Year’s Eve last resort

Spoiler alert! There are better ways to spend New Year’s Eve than playing Truth or Dare for the iPad, or even reading this review. But if you pissed off all your friends and family with that drunken ramble at the Christmas party and find yourself with no invitations to party, this could keep you occupied.

Provided you find someone with even less of a life to play with you.

It’s New Year’s Eve. Why the hell are you reading this blog?

Trust me, I’m not writing it; it was written before Carol and I took off to spend Christmas with my my mother, my sister Aimee and her husband Gary who was completely unprepared for life with the Stephens family and only now, many years later, is developing a skin thick enough to just pour a drink, say a prayer and sit back to let events unfold.

This means I don’t have any funny family Christmas stories to relate because they haven’t occurred yet.

We did get the nephews these flying saucer toys called the Vectron Wave (there is no plural), which are supposed to be completely safe, house proofed and indestructible. Knowing Stephen and Nathan the toys survived until yesterday, which is about as close to indestructible as a toy can get.

Stephen and Nathan share a philosophy that they must have learned from my sister Beth. Why play with your toys when you can have so much more fun playing with your brothers’? Especially when you can have fun watching them lose their temper when you break it and then get in trouble with mom and dad for picking a fight?

Stephen adopted this philosophy first, but Nathan is a good learner. And, trust me, when the oldest brother is ten, neither has learned the fine art of passive aggression and silent revenge. So things get loud and broken quickly, followed by lots more shouting and tears.

But Carol and I will be back home by then, watching our Doctor Who Blu-rays because our partying days are over, my mother will be about to fly to DC to visit my sister Beth, and Gary and Aimee will be left to spend New Year’s Eve rebuilding the house.

And we won’t be playing Truth or Dare for the iPad. To be honest, I never saw the point of the game. Who cares who whoever made out with in the twelfth grade because their boyfriend or girlfriend chatted up someone at the mall? Who really thinks it’s fun to dare someone to pour a cold beer down some girls shirt just to see the outline of her bra?

And why dare people to do stupid things you want to try yourself? Just do them and see what it’s all about or shut up.

Drunken adults are capable of thinking up stupid enough things to do on their own without a party fill of people coming up with more dumb stuff for them.

So, needless to say, when I saw a Truth or Dare app for the iPad I decided to spend the money and download it for review. And New Year’s Eve seemed like the perfect time to review it because it really doesn’t deserve a day when people will actually read the review.

Fortunately, Truth or Dare comes in three flavors, two of them free. There’s the Christmas version, the regular version and the adults only (18+ as if Apple can really enforce that) version for two dollars. So I didn’t even have to pay. I downloaded the two free versions, which are pretty much identical except the Christmas version is green and red and has Christmas questions.

The app prompts you to enter the names of all the players and then you shake your iPad to spin the dial. The dial selects the next player and after that, well, it’s truth or dare. You answer a question or do something stupid.

You enter all the players names and the iPad adds them to a spinning dial to select who will be your next victim. This is about as sophisticated as the interface gets.

Click image to see full size

I thought the games I played in high school were dumb. And, yes, I know what that says about me in high school because I played some really dumb games. Here’s how dumb I was: I played to lose. My theory was that if I screwed up on every turn that was one more hit, I mean, drink for me.

Who knows how many brain cells I burned away in those moments of what I then believed to be clarity and brilliance? I do know I must have burned away the brain cells that would tell me how dumb my brilliant strategies really were.

I don’t even remember the rules to the games. I just remember deliberately screwing up on my turn and then waking up the next morning feeling like the apocalypse had happened and I took the brunt of it, or in a fog so thick I could inhale it and still get high.

I guess that’s why people need the iPad to play the game, because after a certain level of indulgence no one’s brain is functioning well enough to formulate a coherent question.

Truth or Dare provides all the questions or dares—even special seasonal ones in the Christmas season—probably on the theory that if you think this is fun you aren’t sober enough to think up this stuff on your own.

Click image to see full size

The bare bones interface suggests the developers know this (although, to be honest most of Indigo Penguin’s apps look pretty skeletal in both design and features). Other than the rolling dial, it’s all text and big square buttons.

In fact, the interface is the most insulting thing about Truth or Dare in any of its versions. I’m not saying a sixth grader could have written the code (although they could possibly have hijacked it from Apple SDK tutorial sites), but they definitely could have done the design work. And gotten a C- for their efforts.

Jenny Manytoes rates Truth or Dare

Jenny Manytoes would bunch her tail at Truth or Dare, but only because the spinner has the slightest touch of class.

As to the game itself, it’s Truth or Dare, people. A digital version of Truth or Dare more pointless than digital tick tac toe, or paging to your digital calculator to multiply ten times ten. Who cares if your questions or dares are original, entertaining or even make sense? Everyone else is three sheets to the wind as well or they probably wouldn’t be playing. Just about anything that comes out of your mouth will seem witty and urbane.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

RIP, Bandit, our doggy with a death wish who survived every mad dash into the road or into the swimming pool only to suddenly go into kidney failure. It seems that Papillons can develop genetic defects if the breeders aren’t careful, and, as the vet reviewed his medical history with us, it became clear this breeder hadn’t done her homework.

He had been passed through several families, and still remained happy and a joy to have around even when trying to steal food from our plates and grubbing through the trash. We loved him and would have been happy to keep him another dozen years. In fact, we wish we could have kept him another dozen years.

Bandit, who deserved a better life than he got. Which is why rescue groups are so concerned about backyard breeding farms. In this picture, the last one taken, he was about to take on a rescue horse before Carol stopped him. Of course, she had to take the picture first.

Click image to see full size

Contact me at Email iPad Envy, or
Email The Hidden Grimoire.


About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 2 Stars - Raised Tail, Entertainment, Games, Time Wasters and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Truth or Dare on the iPad is New Year’s Eve last resort

  1. Aimee says:

    So…I wish I could say your interpretations of family life were untrue, but alas…you are spot on. However…the boys haven’t broken or fought over that particular toy….yet. Happy New Year Phillip…and we won’t be playing truth or dare either.

    • Happy new year to you too, and all your new iPad apps you downloaded with your new Christmas iPads. And your boys have taught us how temporary their joy of new games can be since both boys seem to have abandoned their Touch Pet kittens.

      You may find this comment ironic once you read tomorrow’s blog.

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