Ubisoft’s latest take on Family Feud is out now, just before the holidays. Does it provide family-friendly fun that everyone can enjoy? Out on all major consoles, we playtested the PlayStation 4 version to find out.
The TV show format for Family Feud has been around for as long as I can remember, and this isn’t the first time it’s been turned into a videogame either. Those previous attempts were never very good though, often because of a combination of poor production values and a lack of interaction between players, teams and the audience – elements that are the very foundations for the success of the TV show.
We had hope for this new iteration though, as it was recently announced that that Snap Finger Click was the developer behind the game. Having previously enjoyed success with It’s Quiz Time and comprised of people who originally worked on the Buzz franchise, they’ve recently embraced streaming platforms as a part of their game experience, so a lot of ingredients were in place to make a better adaptation of Family Feud than ever before.
If you’re not familiar with the format – Family Feud pits two teams (often family members, but this isn’t a requirement) against each other in a guessing game where you try to figure out what the most popular answers were to a survey question posed to the audience. So if a question is to “Name a popular videogame character”, you’d probably score points with Mario, Sonic and Donkey Kong but you could lose your turn if you go with Unravel’s Yarni.
At this point, it’s worth pointing out that there are several version of this game out there, all localized to their respective markets. That means you’re less likely to be stumped by questions on UK history or politics if you’re living in the US, and vice versa. This is a big plus, because too many trivia games lose their appeal on account of questions that where the subject matter doesn’t ring a bell at all and you simply don’t care about the answers.
Snap Finger Click’s take on Family Feud scales up and down very well, and you can play it solo or which a whole group of people, either online or offline. In addition to a “regular” round, called Classic, you can also engage in a few other modes. Classic mode pits you (and optionally four other players) against a CPU-controlled team, where you can select how good you want them to be at shouting out correct answers. Having fellow players to cooperate with helps, but a CPU opponent is always going to feel “artificial” – which is where previous Family Feud games went wrong.
If you have enough players (although strictly speaking you only need two), you can also play the game in “party battle mode”, which is essentially the same thing but with two human teams. To me it feels like this should have been the default mode, but from a single player perspective I understand that the classic mode has to exist.
Couch vs Couch takes the party formula online and has you competing against another team of human players – which theoretically you can also do a solo player. You can challenge a friend, or be paired up through the game’s own matchmaking system, which (just after the game’s release) worked well for us.
Live Show is the last mode, which feels like a signature Snap Finger Click mode to me on account of its integration with Twitch that allows streamers to play a round with their followers. I suppose that, at least in theory, this could also work for playing with family and friends during a lockdown where you can’t physically meet, so we’ll have to set that up some day.
Visually, Family Feud feels like a last gen game, with a lack of detail in the characters and their surroundings and fairly wooden animations as well. There’s a good deal of character customization available though, so at least you can personalize the experience somewhat. Luckily, that’s not where the heart of the game lies, and its quiz-related gameplay is fun as long as you have someone to play with. Classic mode against the CPU isn’t a lot of fun when playing solo, but challenging a solo player or even an entire team online certainly makes things more interesting. Looking forward to booting this up over the holidays and playing with family, either online or in the same room.