With more than three-quarters of a million apps in the Apple App Store, it takes something really special to make a splash in the mainstream today. While very few apps can stand up to the wild popularity of Angry Birds, Ellen DeGeneres' new game by the name of Heads Up! ($0.99) is on its way to that kind of international stardom, becoming the #1 app days after its release May 2. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to be backed by an Emmy-winning daytime talk show host.
People have been using the idea behind this game at parties for years; Heads Up! just brings it into the 21st century. You can play the game with as little as two players, but it is much more fun in a group of people. The game is simple: players choose from a large selection of “decks,” which include categories like accents, singing, celebrities, movies, animals, characters, and more.
The “it” player places the idevice on his forehead (or otherwise out of eyesight) and other players try to describe the word. When the player guesses the word, she tips the device forward, which moves the game onto the next word. The goal is to guess as many words correctly as possible in the time given.
While this could easily be a standard card game, the use of the iPhone or iPad adds a certain flair and appeal. Tipping the device to change cards shaves off countless moments in a game where time matters. Plus, you'll no longer need to keep track of hundreds of cards, hoping you have the right number of cards in the right deck.
The standout feature is the use of the forward facing camera, which catches all the action for use as blackmail or to post to Facebook.
So why has this app risen to super stardom so fast? It doesn’t hurt to have a big celebrity name like Ellen DeGeneres behind it, but you better believe this app would be on its way to Angry Birds status anyway. At a time when so many games are drawing people into single player game play, this game becomes the life of the party. At just $0.99, Heads Up! is very reasonably priced. Most of all, it is a genuinely fun, family-friendly game with loads of replay value that will keep players entertained for hours. The app sells itself— within minutes of playing you will be wondering why you hadn’t purchased it sooner.
The video below is from May 2 when Ellen DeGeneres announced her new game: