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Review: Family Feud (PSN)

Developer: Ludia
Platform: Playstation Network
Release Date: July 6th, 2010
MSRP: $9.99

Family Feud is a game for PSN based off the television show. No time to waste, let’s review the Feud!

Time to Play the Feud

To begin, you create a character. All the character models are ugly. The avatars are a serious eye sore and look like something out of a bad plastic surgery documentary. There are 12 different types to choose from, half of them men and the other women.

There’s no real host. A voice hosts the show and asks the questions. It’s odd that a game based on a game show doesn’t have a fundamental like a game show host. You don’t get that full game show feel without a host. They could have included one. The Family Feud theme song is in here, so it’s not completely lacking the Feud vibe.

Each game has four rounds. The first two rounds give you regular points. In the third round, points are doubled. In the fourth, points are tripled. The first player to reach 300 points wins the game and advances to the Fast Money round to play for $20,000.

If neither player has 300 points by the end of round four, the game goes into Sudden Death. In Sudden Death, there’s only one answer and it’s worth triple the points. Questions will keep appearing until someone hits 300 points.

In the Fast Money round, you’re asked five questions. You’re then asked those same five questions again but this time you have to give different answers. You have plenty of time to answer all the questions. The goal is to score 200 points. If you do, you win $20,000.

If you lose, you get money based on your total points.

In the single player, you play against 12 different families. Each family has their own back story. For example, the first family you play against is the Andersons, which is a little shout out to Family Feud’s old host Louie Anderson. Only the last few families pose a threat because the questions amp up in difficulty.

While you can play for the chance to win $20,000, you can’t use that money for anything. There’s no point to earning money. Why include money in the game if you can’t use it for anything?

There aren’t a lot of unlockables. All of them are clothing items for your avatar which unlock after you beat a family in the single player. Even those look like some bad ’80s fashion statement.

What’s Your Answer?

In the face-off, you have to buzz in quicker than the other family. Whoever gives the answer worth the highest points gets the choice to play or pass the question over to the other family. When answering, you have 19 seconds before time runs out. You only get three wrong answers, then the other family gets a chance to steal all your hard-earned points.

During the initial buzzing, if you answer wrong, the other family gets a chance to answer. If they get it wrong, it switches back to you. If you get it wrong again, the other family gets another shot at it. If neither family gets a correct answer, it moves on to a new question. In Sudden death, players only get one chance to answer. If both get it wrong, it moves to another question.

Answering questions in Family Feud is simple and effective. You type on a keyboard with the controller. This might sound like a huge hassle, but they implemented a system to speed up the process.

As you type in an answer, four words appear on the screen with the beginning letters used so far. You can quick select an answer with the shoulder buttons. Of course you can type out the whole word, but why would you want to torture yourself?

You can get away with putting just a word for an answer and get the points for a complete phrase. One thing I noticed is that if an answer you’re typing doesn’t appear as a quick answer, it’s probably not going to appear on the board.

Unfortunately, Family Feud doesn’t support a USB keyboard. This definitely would’ve been a smart addition.

Depending on the question, there’s a set number of answers. The answers come from surveys given to the public. According to Ludia’s VIP of Marketing Eva Jando at the Playstation Blog, there are over 800 survey questions.

There are indeed a lot of questions with a lot of variety. A majority of them are interesting to answer.

Often, the same questions seem to pop up. Questions come in patterns and don’t mix up. For example, in the Fast Money round, the same five questions will appear in a pattern. If you’ve seen them before, you’ll remember all the top answers. This also applies to questions during the regular game. Sometimes the entire game will be filled with the same questions in the same order.

Oh No!

Some of the questions and answers are flat-out dumb.

Many of the celebrity questions are extremely difficult, like name a person with X name or a person famous for their blue eyes. When you get into the last few answers on the board that are worth fewer points, sometimes the answers are so random you would never think of them.

Here’s some examples of dumb answers:

  • “Name someone who wears gloves.” Neither garbage man or gardener were a correct answer.
  • One question was, “Name a president that’s on money.” Alexander Hamilton is an answer, even though he never was president.
  • In Fast Money, I got, “Name something to apply to.” I put school and got zero points.
  • One is about things that can you spin. Putting in globe gets you zero points.

Answering can get a little weird at times too:

  • During an online game, the question “Name something you lose as you get older” came up. My opponent put youth and got points for the answer “eye sight.”
  • “Name something you do at 8 A.M.” My opponent put brush teeth, and he got points for the answer “driving.”  Huh?
  • For one question, shorts got “shirt”, when they’re clearly two different things.
  • Another was about what Shaquille O’Neal would have problems fitting into. I put in bath (for bathtub because it didn’t show up as a quick type) and it gave me points for “bathing suit.”

Sometimes answering is sensitive:

  • “Name something you measure with.” The other player put in “measuringcup” as one word and got a wrong answer. I put in “cup” and got the points for measuring cup.
  • For the question “Things that go up and down,”  the other player put “yoyo” without the spaces and didn’t get any points. After the round was over, “yo-yo” appeared as an answer on the board.
  • During the same question against a different person, I couldn’t think of an answer so I just randomly put in several letter Os. It gave me points for the answer “yo-yo.”

Of course, the AI has moments of brilliance as well. My favorite example came during “Name something a babysitter would hate to discover the house she’s in didn’t have.” The computer put two answers; oxygen and children. Thankfully, both were wrong.

Face-Off!

Multiplayer is Family Feud’s biggest draw. There’s local and online multiplayer. Multiplayer is incredibly fun. If you’re looking for a real challenge, multiplayer is the place to go.

Since you’re playing against real people, you must have a quick trigger finger and answers rolling off your mind. There’s a better chance of them locking in a really good answer or stealing your board.

Online does have voice chat, which oddly allows the player to listen to other people in their opponent’s background discussing possible answers or hear the player yell out a correct one during your turn (which happened in a few games I was in).

There are a few minor problems with online.

Bizarrely, a question changed into an entirely different one. The host read the question, but after I buzzed in and gave an answer, it changed to a new question and I got it wrong. The new question remained when my opponent got to answer. In my time playing the single player I didn’t run into this problem. Sometimes answers hang for a full minute like the game froze. This happened several times.

If you lose online, you have to sit and watch the other player complete the Fast Money section. It’s annoying having to wait for the game to officially end. On the show, the losing family is whisked off the stage when Fast Money starts. In the game, you still have to stick around.

My biggest problem with online multiplayer is that players can quit. If you’re killing somebody, they can throw a tantrum by leaving the game. If you get 300 points and they quit, the game just ends and you can’t advance to Fast Money. You also don’t keep any of the money you’ve won so far if they leave.

The online leaderboard is lacking detail. There’s no win/loss record, how many points you’ve stolen, etc. It only shows your rank and total points accumulated. It only shows the top ten ranking players. You can’t compare your score with those on your friends list.

Even with these issues, the multiplayer is addicting. Feud is perfect for parties or other friendly gatherings. It’s also great for playing one or two games here and there.

Got Another Quarter?

Family Feud is a fun game. It’s a blast to play against friends or others online. While some of the questions can be frustrating and there’s some weird issues with answering, it’s still a quality title. Survey says…give this one a download.

Score: 3.5/5

Price to Play: $5

Good

  • Multiplayer
  • Typing
  • Lots of questions

Bad

  • Weird question answering
  • Lame avatars
  • No use for money
  • Minor online issues
  • No real show host

Family Feud was purchased for $9.99. The single player was completed. As of this posting, 10/14 trophies were obtained.

Photos by Sony

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