Truth or Lies

That's about as accurate as it gets

This is a lie detector. Actually, it's not. That was a lie! If you told Truth or Lies that "this game is an accurate detector of untruths", your Xbox 360 would explode in a pitiful paradox, leaving a smear of confused electronics all over your carpet. We did tests with pens, notepads and everything, telling lies and truths and noting whether Truth or Lies was able to catch us out.

We used different people, different calibrations, and we told a variety of lies: plain ("my name is Anne Frank and I am seven feet tall"), personal ("I've never eaten cold pizza out of a bin") and outrageous ("I've been to the moon! The sky is green!"), but Truth or Lies never mustered more than a 50/50 success rate. The personal lies - ones which we genuinely felt a bit uncomfortable saying out loud - fared slightly better, closer to 60/40, so there is some kind of voice detection magic at work here. It's just not very good. You know how Tim Roth can tell when somebody's lying? Well Truth or Lies is nothing like that.

So while it's obvious that no court would accept Truth or Lies-based evidence in a murder trial, it's not even accurate enough to make it a viable party game. The frequency with which it spits out 'TRUE' after an obvious lie means it's easy to worm your way out of an awkwardly judged answer. Oh, the game said you once did unspeakable things while the dog was watching? No worries, simply laugh it off, saying "oh Truth or Lies, you're so crazy" while avoiding eye-contact with Benji.

This is not a crosshead


But of course that's unfair. Like any good parlour game, the rules are simply a non-intrusive construct around which social engagement forms, right? No matter how flimsy the lie detection is, the important thing is that you're having fun with your friends. But rather than a catalyst for chattiness, Truth or Lies is more an awkward distraction at any party. The Hot Seat mode lets you ask your own searching queries, while the main game spits out thousands of mostly toothless preset questions. Even in the adult category you'll be answering tosh like "who in the room will be the grumpiest pensioner?" when secretly everybody wants the game to blurt "hands up, who wants to do Simon?"

Had the lie detection been any cop, this game would be a clever sideshow at any social gathering. But as it stands, it's not worth the asking price. Let's face it, the free, classic party game alternatives (Truth or Dare, Spin The Bottle, Twister, etc.) are designed to be merely precursors to everybody in the room getting off with each other. Truth or Lies, on the other hand, is sure to drag your party in a depressingly non-sexy direction. You'd have an edgier evening playing Monopoly.

The verdict

The truth has finally been told

  • Spooky the first time it gets one right
  • It's pretty much guessing
  • You don't actually need it
  • Only two modes
  • Takes ages to play
Xbox 360