The desire to redub an iconic line with your own sense of humor is something that perhaps has crossed my mind a lot, especially when I was younger and learning English by watching classic movies. And that’s exactly what RiffTrax brings to the table, being the spiritual successor to What the Dub, a game that was released back in 2021. The premise is simple: gather your friends and see if you can write the best jokes over movie clips that may or may not be considered “cinema.”
RiffTrax features two modes: Write a Riff and Pick a Riff. In the former mode, the game is identical to its predecessor, What the Dub. A random movie clip will play on screen, but a certain part of it will have missing audio. And then you use your sense of humor (or lack thereof) to complete this missing audio with whatever you want. You will write what you would like to complete, and it will be read out aloud via text-to-speech. That text-to-speech can be changed to various languages, which can definitely give you some laughs as they butcher the pronunciation of words.
And then, we have the new hyped-up mode: Pick a Riff. This is a mode that is completely centered towards those who will plan to stream the game often because instead of letting the players submit their riffs, the game instead picks six random pre-written riffs from the over 2,000 expertly crafted riffs from the RiffTrax development team. These riffs are all compliant with the Terms of Service of most streaming sites, so you don’t need to worry about any potential trolls who might spam slurs or foul language that may get you in trouble.
Joining a room is very easy, because only one copy of the game is necessary. The other players go to a website on any device that has a web-enabled browser, enter the room code, and voilà, you’re in — no copy required. If you have only 3 people, a fourth player called Riff Bot will join. Alongside the players, it will submit one of the random 2000 riffs from the Pick a Riff on whichever of the two modes that you choose, and you can even set him to submit those in text-to-speech as well, so you can make its submission indistinguishable from the players’ responses.
The developers have also made sure that you can stream this game to your audience without any problems. While I did not test the features such as the Twitch chat feature or the Twitch-exclusive options (I’m not a streamer like some of our staff are), I was able to understand pretty easily on how it works given that this is a spiritual sequel to the developer’s What the Dub, and programming-wise, it’s built on top of the same “shell.” After linking your Twitch account to the game, anyone in your chat can vote for their favorite submissions without having to open a separate webpage. Furthermore, there are moderation options.
When you turn on moderation, a randomly generated password is created. You can hand off that password to a trusted member of your community and they will be able to login in a separate webpage dedicated for moderation. After everyone’s riffs are submitted, the game pauses itself for a couple of seconds and sends them all to the moderator controller, who then can either reject or accept those riffs. Rejected riffs are discarded, and the game treats discarded riffs as blank answers. The host can also manually kick a player from the lobby, blocking them from entering the game again.
The only downside that I found in the couple of games I played is that even though there are claims from the developers that there were over 2000 to choose from, there were a lot of repeats, honestly. For example, the “Amazon delivery drone” riff appeared on my Player 1 device, but not on Player 2’s device. However, on the next round, Player 2 got that riff while I didn’t. And that repeated itself until the game ended. This makes me wonder if the game is really selecting from the “bank of riffs” or just picking a fixed amount based on the number of players (i.e. 6 riffs times the number of players).
RiffTrax is the perfect game if you ever want to sit down with a group of friends, remote or in person, to have some great fun with redubbing old movies and funny clips. The fact that only one copy of the game is required is a big plus. Not only that, but the game is available for the low price of $10, and if you already enjoyed what its predecessor What the Dub had offered, you’ll certainly find a lot of fun in here. Playing this with the staff was also very fun, as we laughed at each other’s jokes for hours.
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