Reviewer’s Note: We liked What The Dub?! so much, we wanted you to have a chance to try it out for yourself in this review! There’s a missing chunk of text in the review below that we want you to fill in with your own review dub in the comments!
From the developers behind the irreverent shmup Freedom Finger comes What The Dub?!, a complete left turn for Wide Right Interactive that couldn’t be much further from what they made with their debut title. What The Dub?! is a party game in the vein of Jackbox Games titles like Quiplash, Fibbage, and Tee KO, but with a unique Mystery Science Theater 3000-like twist. What The Dub?! turns bad movie night into bad movie game night. Players come together to dub over scenes from terrible public domain movies, PSAs, and other bits of industrial film that have been dredged up from their forgotten graves to provide endless hours of entertainment. You’ll then get to see your dubs read over the scene with an AI text-to-voice that lets your become the dialog writer on these terrible, awful, cringe-inducing scenes.
Players play What The Dub?! through their phone, tablet, computer, laptop, or even their fridge, if it’s one of those fancy ones with a screen and a built in web browser. As long as you can access the What The Dub?! site and can input text, you can join in the dubbing fun. What The Dub?! supports up to six players dubbing over the clips, with an additional six audience members that can take part in voting for the best one.
Over the course of five rounds, players will see an assortment of short scenes, each up to ten seconds long. A section of dialogue will be missing, and you’ll be tasked with filling it in. And oh, these clips are bad, in the best way. “What’s the deal with old fish face there?” one character may ask, while the other mouths wordlessly in response. After all dubs are entered, the scene will play back with each of the players’ different dialog embedded into the silent portion via text-to-speech. “Well ya see, his face looks like a fish,” one player may say. “What’s the matter with YOU, Nancy?” another might type. I swear it’s funnier in practice than what I’m putting here.
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One small, but key addition is the ability to insert sound effects into your entry, which can take a mediocre dub to the next level. A well placed Wilhelm scream, airhorn, or raspberry can sometimes do so much more than words ever could. I do wish the settings offered more complete control over the game, including the ability to set the round timer to a specific time, select certain clip packs or themes, and other options. Initially the round timer can feel a bit too strict, especially when you are trying to use punctuation to manipulate the text-to-speech system or explore the list of sound effects, all while thinking of a snappy dub on the fly. It’s a minor thing, and Wide Right has indicated they are open to feedback and quality of life improvements to make What The Dub?! the ultimate bad movie night party game.
What The Dub?! Review – Uniquely Funny
Like with most party games, What The Dub?! ends up being uniquely funny to your situation and the group of people you play with. Maybe there are some good inside jokes with your family or friends that make their way to the dubbed stage. Maybe it’s topical humor referencing recent events. It’s the type of game that can continue to provide endless laughs and entertainment, and with more than 300 clips available to dub at launch, it’s unlikely you’ll start seeing any repeats for a while yet. The developers have also hinted at more scenes to come in the future as they continue to scour the depths of things that should have never been recorded to film.
Unfortunately, console players do come up a little shy compared to PC. There are around five extra clips on the Steam version of What The Dub?! that come from a PSA on puberty, which were a little too adult oriented to make it through to the console versions. Still, with more than 300 clips—and we are talking some of the most downright hilariously terrible, cringe-inducing, “what the hell were they thinking” kinds of clips—I see those missing scenes less as a loss for console and more as a bonus for PC. What The Dub?! is certainly not a lesser game on PS4 without them.
A party game might seem like a tough game to release in a world struck by a pandemic, keeping people from gathering, but Wide Right Interactive has made a number of considerations for this and enabled What The Dub?! to be played via streaming. Their site contains an extensive FAQ outlining how to play What The Dub?! remotely so that you can gather your family, friends, and randoms for an entertaining evening of dubbing awful clips. Wide Right also has plans in place to potentially implement some kind of cross-play across platforms, and other features that break down the one usual barrier to party games, which is that everyone usually has to be together in the same place. Still, having everyone in the same room is often the best way to play party games, and while our review so far has been remote with family and friends willing to indulge my wife and I through all the tech troubles stream parties can have, What The Dub?! is firmly on deck as the party game for future in-person family gatherings and friend parties.
What The Dub?! Review – MST3K Meets Jackbox
With the popularity of things like Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, What The Dub?! seems like a no brainer, and I’m legitimately surprised it took this long for someone to mine the idea for a party game. What The Dub?! is a relatively simple concept that doesn’t try to be anything its not. It cops the formula for party games from Jackbox as if to say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In fact, it’d be easy to mistake What The Dub?! for a Jackbox game, except that it isn’t. This has Wide Right Interactive written all over it. With the simplicity of that well-known party game formula, groups already familiar with Jackbox will be able to add What The Dub?! right into the rotation without any hiccups or long explanations to make your technologically illiterate uncle understand “those damn video games.”
What The Dub?! is the perfect blend of party games and bad movie nights. It’s a relatively simple idea with endless hilarity unlocked by each group of people that plays it. Wide Right Interactive has mined the depths of places no human should ever go to bring you some of the best prompts and most awkward footage to ever be recorded to film. By sticking to the established party game formula, it’s easy for anyone to pick up and play, whether they’re a gamer or not. Whether your a party game fanatic, or just venturing forth into the world of what party games can offer, What The Dub?! is an essential addition to any party games collection.
What The Dub?! review code provided by developer. Reviewed on a PS5 (via backwards compatibility). For more information, please read our Review Policy.
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