Title: What the Dub?!
Developer: Mark Zorn, Kurt Wojda, Wide Right Interactive
Release Date: April 8, 2021
Reviewed On: Switch
Publisher: Wide Right Interactive
What the Dub was a surprise when I first booted it up. The basic idea is that you and up to eleven friends watch clips from a movie and make up new dialogue as you go. Half the players actually submitting dubs, and the other half are voting on their favorites. Split into five different rounds, each providing a new clip to dub over.
Like the Jackbox series of party games, the device is used to just stream the screen and the clips while each input a code into an internet-connected device. The core device either streamed or gathered everyone around the screen. The game’s presentation is phenomenal, having the backdrop of a movie theater with each transition being a title card that you would see in silver age Hollywood flicks.
I played What the Dub for about 4 hours with two different groups of friends to get their perspective as well. Between the two groups, it was agreed that this game deserves to get inserted into the rotation of any party game night.
I found that I didn’t see the same clip twice with over three hundred clips but noticed that some clips were obviously from the same movie. So it is clear that they either only wanted to do or only had the time to cut up a certain amount of movies. Each movie is picked from the public domain for self-explanatory reasons. However, they are cut just right to lead into a perfect dubbing scenario. You just need to be quick on your feet.
After watching the clip, you are shown where the missing audio is and will be prompted to enter your dub. I was surprised by how much you could actually do. You can add sound effects along with your text to get an edge over the others. When everybody is done or the time is up, all that’s left is to sit back, relax and watch everybody’s dubs.
This part being what surprised me the most, the clip plays again, although instead of just missing audio, it will instead have a speech-to-text read what you wrote. This part can be a little repetitive as you watch the same clip in a row with slightly different jokes. However, the text to speech software used was great and would accurately read what we had written.
Especially surprising was the curses and slang was read just right. The only time it messed up was when someone had written a name followed by an I without an apostrophe. The software read it as Martin the first instead of the intended Martin, I.
the text to speech software used was great and would accurately read what we had written.
Voting is much like any other party game, everyone chooses the dub they like the most, and the people with the most votes get the most points. However, I did notice issues when there was a tie in points. If everyone got 1 vote each, it would pick one player as the round winner at seemingly random. This carries onto if anyone ties at the end of the game.
One game ended with a two-way tie for first, and we expected there to be a tie-breaker of sorts. Instead, the Dub decided to congratulate one player, but the screen said the other was the winner of the game on the credits. So having a simple tie-breaker round where there is one final dub would have been a great way to fix that sort of error.
Another thing is that while the clips aren’t repetitive, the announcer sure is. Over the four hours, I think I heard some of the same announcer clips at least 6 times. This just doesn’t help when you are playing many rounds in a row. Often I would just roll my eyes at some of what the announcer said and just want to get back to the dubs.
What the Dub is a lot of fun, even with a few hiccups that will hopefully be implemented in future updates or possibly a sequel. It’s charming in presentation, takes the best form of competition, and manages to stand out among them. I eagerly anticipate either a sequel or another party game from this team, as they truly deserve their space at any party.
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