Teen Talk is a simple game, but its subtleties can easily confuse the beginner. This is largely because the game is so different from previous games. The best advice for winning is to pay attention to what people are saying and use your intuition.
You can skip this section if you are comfortable with the display and user interface. Here’s the first screen requiring a decision from you.
More players means a longer and more complex game. The difficulty level (bottom row) determines how smart they are. Obviously, you want to use the simplest settings (in magenta) at first, then move up as you grow more confident.
This is the main play screen. Let’s go over each of the components of this display:
This is the help button. Pressing it brings up this screen:
If you press the green arrow on the lower right, you’ll get a profile of your own character, Bara:
If you press the green arrow button on the lower right, you’ll see profiles of other characters. When you’re ready to resume playing the game, just press the arrow button on the lower left until you’re back to the game screen.
This button will show you some hints on how to win. There are different hints for different difficulty levels.
This button will start a new game. Don’t press it unless you want to end the current game and start over with a new game.
The players are shown inside blue circles. The player whose turn it is has a white halo; at the beginning of the game, you get to make the first turn, so you are shown with a white halo:
There’s also a prompt telling you to select somebody to call. Other prompts will always appear in the same place underneath your character.
The arrows show what you know about how everybody feels about everybody else. The redder an arrow is, the more that person likes the person the arrow points to. The bluer the arrow is, the more that person hates the person the arrow points to. In this example, you and Ella are best friends, and Max and Owen are best friends. Owen and you like each other a little. Max and Ella are neutral about each other. You and Max don’t like each other, and Ella and Owen hate each other.
That numeral “3” means that you have three turns left.
Be warned that, in the more difficult levels, the arrows might not be accurate; they reflect only what you have learned about others.
Your first turn
Your first turn begins when you select somebody to call by clicking on their face. You’ll hear their ringtone and they’ll answer the phone. They’ll be surrounded by a blue halo. Here’s what the screen looks like after you’ve selected Max to call:
Now you must decide whom you’re going to gossip about. The players you can choose from have magenta circles. Let’s say you click on Owen:
Now Owen has a magenta halo. This color pattern always shows the relationships among the players: the white-haloed person is the caller; the blue-haloed person is the callee; and the magenta-haloed person is the one they’re gossiping about.
The game automatically sets up your statement to Max about how much you like Owen: notice the fat dull red arrow pointing from you to Owen. That’s the default value of what you’re going to say about Owen. But you don’t have to say that. Note those two arrows in the upper right corner of the screen, the up and down arrows. They allow you to alter what you say about Owen. If you want to say that you like him more, press the up arrow. If you want to say that you like him less, press the down button.
Let’s step back for a moment and think about this. Note that Max really likes Owen, as indicated by the red arrow from Max to Owen. If you were to tell Max that you hate Owen’s guts, how do you think he’d react? He probably wouldn’t be too happy about that, would he? And how do you think his feelings towards you might change if he realized that you hate Owen? Not good, huh?
On the other hand, suppose that you told Max that you felt exactly the same way about Owen that he feels (your arrow towards Owen is the same color as Max’s arrow towards Owen). Max would be pleased, wouldn’t he? And of course, he’d feel better about you, wouldn’t he? That’s good!
But wait! What if later on, you tell Ella that you hate Owen (to match her feelings), and then Max and Ella compare notes, and they figure out that you’ve been lying to them. What do you think they’ll feel about you then? Not good, is it?
So how do you balance buttering up people against being caught lying? Well, you just have to think it through. Some people are more gullible than other people. Towards the end of the game, there might not be enough time for people to compare notes and catch you in your lies. And maybe you can get away with smaller lies.
Back to the game
OK, so you’ve twiddled the up and down buttons and decided on what you want to say to Max about Owen. When you’re sure of your answer, press this button in the lower right corner:
This button always means the same thing: “OK, I’m done with this. Proceed to the next step.” You’ll be using it a lot.
Max will respond to your gossip about Owen with a short expression that will indicate how much he believes you. A big dashed arrow from Max to you will show you whether he’s buying it. Notice his facial expression; players always show a facial expression indicating their feelings.
Now Max will tell you what he thinks about Owen. Don’t forget that he might not be completely honest with you, either.
Press the period button to move onto the next step, and the screen will look like this:
In this screen, you’re telling Max how much Owen likes or hates him. The quotation marks indicate that you’re repeating what Owen said to you – or so you say. Once again, you can use the up and down arrow to edit your statement before you click on the period button in the lower right.
Once again it’s time to consider the strategy you use. This is even trickier. On the one hand, you can try to push a wedge between Max and Owen by telling Max that Owen hates him. That might make Max feel closer to you. On the other hand, you can stroke Max’s ego by telling him that Owen just adores him, and that will make Max happy, and he’ll like you more. On the third hand, if you lie to Max and he finds out, then he’ll like you even less. Decisions, decisions!
Once again, you’ll see a short response from Max indicating the degree to which he agrees with your statement. Then he’ll tell you what he heard Owen say about you:
Once you’ve taken this in, press the period button in the lower right corner. Max will say goodbye and your turn is over. Now the other players get their turns and will call each other. You can hear them gossiping in the background: “psst! psst! psst! psst!” but you don’t know what they’re saying. Maybe they’re talking about you!
One of them might call you. If so, you go through the same steps as before, only now you’re the callee, not the caller, so the sequence of steps is a little different, but the choices you must make are the same. When everybody has made their calls, the turn is over and it’s your turn again. You continue this way until the end of the game. Then you’ll see something like this:
This shows who won and who lost. In this case, I came in last – I really lost big time! Hey, you win some and you lose some!