“Great party, huh? I mean, these little vegan cocktail weenies are the best. You can hardly taste the hydrolyzed soy protein, and the music is really, uh, um…I’m sorry, I’m just terrible at this smalltalk thing. You wouldn’t happen to have a stack of note cards with interesting conversation topics on them, would you? What’s that? There’s an app for that now? Hallelujah! I’ll never be Awkward Guy at the party again!”
At least, this seems to be the motivation behind Tabletopics, an app port of a real-life card game that is designed to breathe life into hopelessly awkward social situations. Rather than another stale round of “So tell me about being a box company regional manager?”, instead you can whip out your handy app and ask sparkling, witty ice breakers such as “If you could design a postage stamp, what would be on it?” or “What did your mom add to make Jello salad?”
Okay, so maybe this app won’t quite make you the life of the party. Admittedly, most of the questions are on the more generic side: “What’s your favorite candy?”, “What was your favorite movie when you were young?”, that kind of thing, but as you may have noticed, some of the questions are random/bizarre enough to take any potential for lively conversation and kill it dead. Thankfully, you can easily skip questions you don’t like, or even write your own, but the number of included questions aren’t nearly as many as you’d think for a $2.99 app.
Tabletopics comes with two sets, Starter and Happy Hour, with 60 separate questions each. There’s also the option to purchase additional sets, like First Date and In-Flight, for $1.99 a piece. Now, this is a steal compared to the actual card game which retails at around $25, but that’s still a surprising amount of cash for a handful of digital cards with things like “What’s your favorite dessert?” on them.
However, the app is a lot handier than an actual stack of cards, and I will say that Tabletopics has a really beautifully smooth and clean interface that is easy enough for even the most technologically challenged. It has the kind of shiny digital polish that makes it look like a million bucks, even if it’s wrapped around only a nickel’s worth of content.
Now, I’m the kind of person who is rarely at a loss for words, but I do get why this app exists. There are a lot of people out there who get shy or tongue-tied and don’t know what to say, and I sympathize. Unfortunately, with the exception of long car rides and possibly slumber parties, this app is the kind of weirdly contrived conversation starter that is going to just take you from being “Awkward Guy” to “Awkward Guy Who Can’t Function Without His iPhone”.
Here is a video demo of the TABLETOPICS app on the iPhone
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