Well, this really is Awkward.
Not to brag, but party games are kind of my thing. Most Saturday nights I spend my time with a few friends around a table playing as many party games as we possibly can, often falling out afterwards because we’re all ridiculously competitive. More so when drunk off our faces. So you can imagine our delight when beginning to play Awkward; we devoured the game with glee. Only, perhaps we should have had a drink first because what we got was certainly not what we were expecting.
Awkward self-advertises as a party game that was banned due to the number of bar brawls and divorces that occurred after it was played. This is because Awkward basically puts you on the spot, asking you and your friends questions to see how well you actually know one another. In theory, this sounds really fun and engaging, but it doesn’t truly sell well when you play the game together.
One of the first things I noticed about the game is that playing it with friends is more awkward than it needs to be – pun intended. There’s a lot of handing the console around the room to make your picks, which can really break the tension of whether your friend guessed the right answer or not. Sure, it does get a lot better when you place your Switch in the dock, but you’re still handing the controller around and the lack of momentum makes Awkward feel more like a chore than a game.
That said, Awkward does have its moments where you are able to fully appreciate what it has on offer. There are a variety of modes that it offers you depending on the number of players you have playing with you, which goes up from one to six. There are team-up modes and random match-ups, though choosing between two questions remains consistent throughout all modes. The random match-up modes are particularly good, as you never know what will come next.
But while there are a few modes that stop you from getting completely bored, Awkward, a game that prides itself on asking the questions that nobody wants to answer, doesn’t make you feel awkward at all. For a game that’s supposed to cause tension between those who you play it with – heck, a game that’s supposed to be M-rated – it felt as though a child had come up with some questions. ‘Choose between a kiwi and a peach?’ Give me a break. If anything, it made us laugh rather than question whether we’d be friends afterwards.
Truthfully, the game wants to assess how compatible you are as friends, lovers or relatives, but doing so with questions that are so lacking, it’s hard to find something about you or your friends that will actually trigger a conversation worth having.
Awkward tries to be interesting – I really believe it does – but it doesn’t have anything (other than some really nice art) to make it worth having on your Switch. If it had an engaging single-player mode, which it doesn’t, then I’d gladly argue it would be a game to at least try. But no, trust me when I say give this one a miss.
Awkward is a game that tries hard to be interesting and live up to its infamous name but fails terribly. People who like party games may find it a nice game to kill time with, but it doesn’t have anything else that makes it stand out from the crowd.