Video game interpretations of television game shows always come with low expectations, and the latest incarnation of Family Feud meets them head-on. The core gameplay is fine, with the game replicating the show’s format accurately. It’s just that the presentation around the game itself is entirely lacking in almost every respect.
To be clear, if all you are looking for is to take part in Family Feud matches with friends on the couch or opponents on the Internet then this game will scratch that itch just fine. My biggest concern for gameplay was that it wouldn’t accept answers that weren’t exact matches. Unlike a show like Jeopardy, Family Feud often has answers that are open to interpretation, so the game has to account for that. Fortunately, it does, and in all the rounds I played I never once felt that I should have gotten credit for an answer that I didn’t. The game will not give credit for answers you misspell, but it does have a phone-style auto-complete feature that helps here (you can turn this off if you prefer).
In terms of game modes it hits all the basics, but not much more than that. There’s a mode to play against the AI, local versus for up to 10 players (and you only need one controller), online multiplayer, and a streamer mode. I sadly did not get to try out the streamer mode, but I think that it has the most potential if you have a channel large enough to support it. The single-player mode, by contrast, should be viewed largely as a fancy tutorial. Online multiplayer works as advertised, but honestly playing against randoms wasn’t very fulfilling to me and there isn’t much of a community. Couch multiplayer, by contrast, is excellent — assuming you have people to play with. Playing with friends and family really lets you treat it like the actual game show, with some extra taunts and ribbing tossed in.
Playing local multiplayer is the best way to play because you provide your own atmosphere. The game gives almost nothing in the way of presentation outside of the absolute minimum. You can tell this right up front by the lack of Steve Harvey being attached, despite him hosting the show for ten years now.
Steve’s digital replacement, Lucky, would be okay if he had even the slightest personality, but he might as well be a robot. He certainly looks like one with his plastic facial expressions and complete lack of emotion. One of Family Feud‘s biggest draws is Harvey’s reactions to the absurd or suggestive answers contestants sometimes give, and there is none of that here. On top of that, you can actually see when the game transitions between animation routines, and there’s often a distinct pause between sentences. That might be more understandable if there was a wide range of animations to draw from, but you will see the game’s entire catalog of animations in the first match alone. Once you notice Lucky clipping through the podium every single round you can’t un-see it. The game is entirely lacking in making the presentation entertaining and immersive, and that is relatively important when you’re trying to pitch this as being the at-home version of a game show.
Family Feud (2020) Review Final Thoughts:
If you are a die-hard Family Feud fan or can find enough people to play it consistently then the presentation probably won’t matter much. The actual game of Family Feud is captured accurately, though the questions invite less suggestive answers than you may be used to from Harvey’s version of the show. There’s also potential in the streamer mode if you enjoy games like the Jack Box Party packs, though you may just want to go for those unless Family Feud really tickles your fancy. If you aren’t a streamer or expect this to be a game night staple, though, this is an easy game to pass on. I expect this will make some sales to family members looking for a safe present for the holidays, but we may see this in the bargain bin before we get too far into 2021.