Two words. Opinion. “It’s okay.”
Ah, Charades. The ol’ party standby that you whip out when your guests have been at the alcohol long enough to start dwelling on their depressing life choices. Even though sitting in a room and shrieking out random words is what makes Charades fun, Mixamo’s Charade Parade for mobile provides a quiet, single-player charades experience. It’s novel for a while, but technical issues will soon prompt you to turn off your iPhone and rejoin the real party.
Other than its emphasis on isolation, Charade Parade doesn’t mess around much with the classic formula. An on-screen character acts out a dance, or a job, or a sport, and you need to guess what they’re getting at. The more you play, the more coins you earn. In turn, coins can be used to unlock new character packs, and thus, new gyrations to guess at.
While you can play Charade Parade with pals over GameCenter or Facebook, it’s a far more organized experience than the high-pitched flinging of words that occurs with normal games of Charades. You take turns with a friend (or a random opponent) guessing at what the character is trying to get across to you with their body language. You have a limited amount of time to type your answer in. If you get it, hooray. If not, pat yourself on the back anyway. Either way, the next turn goes to your opponent or friend.
Charade Parade‘s back-and-forth experience isn’t bad, but it misses the point of the original game, which is to hoot and point like apes. Still, it’s a good way to play Charades in a public space, since doing the hula on a crowded bus is sure to draw a lot of questions instead of excited answers.
Charade Parade‘s most noteworthy feature is its 3D models. The game hosts a passel of unusual characters, including a large Elvis impersonator and a lithe, keen granny in a jogging suit. These characters act out the answers you’re supposed to type in, and their actions are well-animated; you haven’t lived ’til you’ve seen 300 pounds of Elvis doing Michael Jackson’s Zombie Dance. You shouldn’t have trouble making your guess. If you do, you can buy hints with the game’s soft currency, which is coins.
Unfortunately, Charade Parade‘s whole experience is tripped up by some technical issues that are in dire need of sorting out, at least on the iPhone 5. The game has issues with hanging and crashing, particularly when you try and start a new game with a random opponent. Also, when a character starts performing for you, you have a limited time in which to type in your guess—but the letter keys are tiny and squished close together (not to mention arranged without any rhyme or reason) which makes mistakes inevitable.
Charade Parade is a good way to pass a few minutes. Heck, it’s free. Don’t expect to get much mileage out of it, though: if the technical issues don’t prompt you to delete the app, playing a one-on-one guessing game remains fun for only so long.