Heads Up! How to Play Charades on Your Phone
Charades! is a fun smartphone game that will brighten up any situation and is perfect for families and friends to play together. Most modern games involve a single person using a single phone, staring down at their screen and blocking out everyone around them, but not this one.
Charades! is a truly social smartphone game. You simply select a category, hold it up to your forehead so that your friends can see the word or phrase but you can’t, and then they try to get you to guess what the word or phrase is.
We’re going to tell you everything you need to know about Charades!, including where to get it and how to play it.
What Is Charades?
Charades is a party game which originated in the 19th century. Rules of the game vary, but generally players silently act out a word or phrase and everyone else has to guess what it is.
Charades! is a digital version of the game available for Android and iOS. It’s fun, easy to understand, and is a great game to play with a group of people when you want to kill some time.
You might be familiar with an app called Heads Up!, which is one of the fun iPhone party games we recommend, and was popularized on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show. It’s very similar to the Charades! app. In fact, both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store are flooded with clones. For our money, Charades! is the best.
Download: Charades! for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
What Modes Are Available for Charades!?
Launch Charades! and you will see a brightly colored app with simple navigation. From the home screen, you have a couple of options: Quick Play or Versus.
Quick Play just pits a single person against a group—one person guessing, and the group shouting hints.
The Versus mode allows you to keep score between two teams who will try to get their respective partners to guess correctly, more like in traditional charades. With this mode you can choose the number of teams (two, three, or four) and number of rounds (three, five, or seven).
After choosing your mode, you can scroll through the list of available categories like Movies or Music. Select a category to begin the game or tap the heart icon on the category to add it your Favorites (accessible on the left-hand menu) for easier accessibility.
Many categories are free, though there are some that you need to pay to unlock which we’ll cover later.
How to Make Your Own Cards in Charades!
Tap the Custom section on the left-hand menu and you can create your own cards for a more personalized experience.
Tap Add New Deck and you can give your custom deck a name. There is a tab here called Others, where theoretically you enter a category ID to download decks that other people have made, but the network functionality of the app appears to be broken.
With your deck created, tap it from the list and then choose Add cards. Add as many cards as you want. The more the better if you want to keep the games harder.
When you want to play your own deck, return to the Custom menu, tap the deck you want, then choose Play.
How to Play Charades!
The guesser is supposed to hold the game to their forehead, but it isn’t completely necessary; you can hold it out in front of your chest as long as you can’t see the screen and the others can.
After you press Play, the screen will say “Place On Forehead”. You then can hold onto the phone for a moment, but the second you flip it around and hold it up to your forehead, a five second countdown will begin before it starts.
Your friends then need to shout or act out hints so that you can figure out what is displayed on the screen.
If you guess correctly, tilt the phone downwards to mark it as correct, the screen will flash green, and the game will move onto the next word.
If you can’t figure out the answer, tilt the phone upwards, the screen will flash red, and it will pass and mark the answer as incorrect.
Charades! can sometimes be a bit over sensitive registering movement, so be careful not to move your hands too much when holding the phone else you might accidentally mark something as correct or pass.
When your time is up, Charades! will tally up your score and you can review all the ones you missed. If you’re playing Versus, you then hand it to the next team for their turn.
How Much Does Charades! Cost?
While Charades! is a free game, it is powered by ads and in-app purchases. There will often be an advert displayed at the bottom edge of the screen and it will sometimes interrupt you on the home screen and after games for a full-screen advert.
You can permanently remove adverts for a one-time payment of $0.99. To do this, navigate to the Store from the left-hand menu.
Within the Store, you will see that you can buy coins. This is an in-game currency used to unlock new categories, which are priced at 100 coins. It costs $3.99 to get 500 coins and remove adverts, which makes it $0.80 per category. There is also the option to just get 500 coins, without the advert removal, but since this also costs $3.99 you should avoid it.
To get some free coins, you can watch a 30-second advert. This will reward you with 25 coins when you have finished watching the advert. You can do this repeatedly to stack up the coins and save paying any money.
How to Customize Charades!?
Navigate to Settings on the left-hand menu to see the customization options.
Only a few customizations exist here: changing the round time to 60, 90, or 120 seconds, toggling bonus time, and toggling sound effects. The sound effects actually can come in handy for the person holding the phone, since they can’t see the screen to know if their twist of the hand worked properly, but the “pass” and “correct” noises can get annoying if you play a lot.
On the other hand, bonus time is a neat feature that adds two seconds to your playing time when you get a question right. It’s a small change that probably won’t affect gameplay much, but it’s nice that they include the option instead of forcing you one way or the other.
Find More Mobile Games Worth Playing
Whether you play on Android or iOS, Charades! is a blast to play. It’s an exciting way to waste some time while hanging out with friends, and is fun for all ages.
Looking for more mobile games to play? Here’s how to find new mobile games worth playing.
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