Say what you see

Published April 13, 2013


ITV have brought the exceedingly popular quiz show Catchphrase back to its screen, with updated graphics and a snazzy new host. I haven’t seen the new show, except for a brief stint where they got Ant & Dec to play against each other a week or so ago. I’d imagine that it’s still fun, but nowhere near as good as the original - these remakes never are. And Roy Walker was such an integral part of the whole thing, what could it possibly be like without him?

Anyway, to celebrate the release of the new series, an app was released for iDevices, reliving the glory days with Classic Catchphrase. With samples of Walker’s greatest sayings, as well as the ability to press the buzzer and hear that iconic noise, it’s great to revel in the past for a few minutes.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to play for much longer than that as the app is buggy and gameplay is limited. You can choose single or two player as an option, and once you go in, choose the prize money and start seeing the catchphrases, it’s a matter of pressing the buzzer and saying what you see.

To actually do that, you have to type in what you think the phrase is, and as you can imagine, the results are mixed. I haven’t played the one-player version enough to experience it myself, but reviews are suggesting you can type the correct phrase in only to be told you are wrong. A few seconds later, the “opponent” guesses the same and gets it right. Oops.

I have experienced the frustration of not knowing what the catchphrase is, and there seems to be no option to forfeit or skip it in any way. You just keep hearing the music over and over, and the Mr Chips animation looping at you mockingly.

These are pretty serious gameplay bugs that can only be there because they rushed out the app to coincide with the new series starting on television. There’s no way anyone can have tested this app and found it to be playable in any other fashion.

So, whilst I don’t recommend buying it (although it’s only 69p, so I guess you get what you pay for), it still was quite glorious to revel in the old days and actually be part of the Catchphrase experience… however buggy it may be.

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