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RiffTrax: The Game will put your cinematic trash-talking to the test

You think you're good at poking fun at movies with your witty banter? RiffTrax: The Game is going to put your clever quipping to the test.


We’ve all sat around with our friends and verbally ripped into a film with our friends before. I’d even go as far to say that the concept of riffing on a movie is almost as old as cinema itself. But few have, if any, have done it as much as the RiffTrax. These folks have been watching cheesy movies and tearing them a new one since the days of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K). And many of us, including myself, have thought that we had the chops to adlib something just as funny as the pros. Now, fans and would-be riffers will finally get their chance to put their money where their mouth is thanks to the soon-to-be-released RiffTrax: The Game. I recently had the chance to catch up with the RiffTrax crew and the Wide Right Interactive dev team to see if my zingers had what it takes to go up against the pros.

RiffTrax: The Game lets up to six players riff on b-movie scenes together.
RiffTrax: The Game lets up to six players riff on b-movie scenes together.

The setup for a round of RiffTrax: The Game is simple enough and should be familiar to anyone who’s played Wide Right’s previous game, What The Dub?! or any of the Jack Box Party titles. Players use their PC, Console or smart devices to log into a website via a room password. They’re then assigned a random spot on the virtual RiffTrax couch along with a random avatar from some of the gang’s most iconic riffs. I noticed Mr. B Natural on the couch during one round and I was lucky enough to get the one and only Torgo from “Manos” The Hands of Fate as my avatar for a match. Up to six people will be able to compete against each other in a game but there’s also room for up to 12 spectators to creep in the background as well.

Once players are ready to roll, they’ll get to try their hand at one of two different modes. Write A Riff mode is exactly that: Players are shown one of over 250 clips from the vast RiffTrax library and are tasked with writing a quick one-liner before time runs out. If folks are completely stumped or facing pressure-induced writer's block they can always opt to have their riff auto-filled with a pre-made one from the pros. When everyone has turned their entry in, the scene will play back with each quip somehow voiced by Mike, Bill or Kevin themselves. It’s a really nice touch and the auto-voice did a remarkably good job during our demo.

After each riff is read out loud players will vote for whichever one made them laugh the most or perhaps the one they found the most raunchiest, poignant, or just plain crass. Points are then distributed accordingly to whoever got some votes with the most points going to the player with the most votes. As you would expect, the player with the most points after all rounds have been played is declared the winner.

The rules of Pick A Riff are essentially the same, only players do not have the pressure of writing their own blurbs. Instead each player is given a selection of several pre-made quips and must select the one they think fits the presented clip best. In some ways it feels a little trickier because you may end up having to shoehorn something in, but this can also lead to some fantastic absurdist humor or WTF moments.

Overall, the laughs were flying left and right during our brief hands-on demo and I think that’s the real barometer that decides if party game titles like RiffTrax sink or swim. I’ve been a fan of the RiffTrax crew since the MST3K days and they’ve been making me laugh since before I could grow a beard, which was a long, long time ago. I doubt anyone who checks out RiffTrax: The Game will be feeling as much pressure to deliver the world’s greatest one-liner as I did while playing with the pros, but it’s definitely a game that’s going to put your improv skills to the test, and hopefully delivers a bouquet of genuine bellylaughs. Fortunately for fans around the world, they won’t have long to wait to try RiffTrax: The Game for themselves as it’s set to launch in the not-too-distant future. You’ll be able to get your hands on RiffTrax: The Game starting on May 5, 2022 on Xbox Series One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Blake has been writing and making videos about pop-culture and games for over 10 years now. Although he'd probably prefer you thought of him as a musician and listened to his band, If you see him on the street, buy him a taco or something. Follow him on twitter @ProfRobot

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