Game review – Capsule Computers
Developer: Interactive Wide Right
Editor: Interactive Wide Right
Platforms: Switch, Xbox One, Playstation 4 (revised), PC, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Release date: Available now
Price: $9.99 – Available here
Wide Right Interactive caught my attention a while back with the release of “What is dubbing? !”, – a multiplayer game where players had to dub old movie clips, the main objective being to win the votes of an audience. Rifftrax: the game takes this concept and adds the familiar commentary of the beloved franchise, with the player now able to add subtitles and their own speech to all-new clips. Do Riftrax add something to make this title worthy of a Saturday night with friends? Let’s find out.
Yes – the story. Well, there aren’t any, but there are over 250 clips in the classic movie sets. Most of the clips are from old footage that has been riffed on over the years. Rollergator, Attack of the Supermonsters, and other D-movies add plenty for the laughs, while other samples of old class PSAs that need almost no extra commentary to remain oddly endearing. The selection is stellar, and editing the preset clips leaves plenty of room for multiple plays and viewpoints of the crowd you’re with. Sure, you’ll end up missing and getting repeats, but for the 30 or so games I’ve played with friends, I’ve only had one repeat – and rewatching the clip with all the available options felt perfectly fine. how nice the concept really was.
Riftrax is essentially another version of “What is dubbing? !” with its own unique style. Players simply log into the website using their mobile devices (or PC, if desired), then sync to create a session. Once launched, a clip plays and players must quickly enter a line or two of doubled commentary to add context or actual dialogue to a muted portion of the scene. These scenes then play out – and users vote for the best of the best to earn points. It is a simple premise that those who know the jack box franchise will feel right at home with, as Rifftrax: the game looks like an expanded version of one of those party titles – but with plenty of content to stand on its own legs.
As for variety and options, each game can be customized. Players can select one of two modes. The former lets players create their own riff, while the latter lets your band choose from pre-recorded commentary. Sure, the second isn’t as nice, but honestly, I found it nice to see something for those who don’t have a creative mind in the room. Other options allow you to choose the amount and duration of rounds, as well as your usual choices for adding new players and adding a virtual audience if you choose to broadcast. While the game is great for the most part, I occasionally had a few minor issues. More than once I’ve had commentary from two different players during the same clip. It was still funny, but a little weird – to say the least. The addition of computer players that play pre-made riffs is also great for small groups, but the stark contrast between a computer-generated voice and one of the hosts made it a little obvious who the riffer was, even if it was. is still just a minor gripe.
There’s not much to say about the clips themselves. Due to the fact that it’s mostly cinema and cheap commercials, expect to see naturally low-quality clips that look more charming due to the lack of general upgrades. The menus are fine, and although they aren’t spectacular, the subtitles do their job quite effectively. I think the menus could be fleshed out a bit more, but for what’s here most will have no problem diving into a game and understanding the basics due to the simplicity.
Much like the visuals, the audio for the clips has a bit of that old-school movie sound, with bits of voice that almost echo when the characters speak due to the age of some of these footage. The included commentary is fine and was pretty well recorded. That said, the computer-generated voice acting can be a bit haphazard, with occasional mispronunciations that dull a good riff.
Rifftrax: the game is a fun time for a group of friends who want to spend a few hours relaxing and laughing at some of the forgotten images of yesterday. While it’s not perfect or even a concept that will last more than a few meetings, my own friends and I had a blast rearranging some weirdly entertaining footage and I could easily see that it was something I would regularly pull out of the box at a rally. Rifftrax: the game delivers what is promised by bringing yet another stellar board game to platforms.
Capsule computers review guidelines can be found here.