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Charades With Emojis Turns Screen Time Into Family Time, And It’s Kind Of Awesome

In an attempt to finally get your kids to indulge you in playing charades, the Emoji Party app may have literally flipped phubbing on its head. The goal of the project was to make an app-based party game that turns screens from individual experiences to things an entire room full of people can enjoy together while facing up and — are you sitting down for this? — actually looking at each other. And it seems to have worked.

Emoji Party is a mash-up of the Headbanz board game, Ellen DeGeneres’Heads Up app, and those so-stupid-you-have-to-laugh “Emoji Challenge” YouTube videos. (Google it, it’s a thing. Your kid knows.) Gameplay is simple: hold the phone up to your forehead facing the party, or stand with your back to the Apple TV-enabled screen, while your friends act out the emoji or emoji combo. Tilt the phone forward or swipe right on the remote when you guess correctly, or tilt back/swipe left to pass. The game comes preloaded with 1,000 combinations in 10 themed decks like Animals and Movies; additional packs are also available as in-app purchases. It’s guaranteed to make your friends act stupid, get the room laughing, or reveal which member of your family has given up on words entirely.

It should be no surprise that Tiny Hearts studio created the game, and not just because they’re Canadian. They’re responsible for the top iOs alarm clock, the workout app from that Apple commercial, and the Next Keyboard, which, among other things, predictively converts your words to emojis … and taco stickers. Clearly these guys know how to make an app with mass appeal. Or they just know the masses love emojis and tacos. Either way, their self-described “Charades made for the 21st century” could inspire a new generation to return to an old party game, or finally enable you to carry on a text conversation with your kids.

$1.99 (iOs)
Ages: 8+