Heads Up! App Poster Image

Heads Up!




Guessing game is family fun with real-world interaction.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app is accessible to a wide range of players, from kids to adults -- and since players can tweak the rules to their preference, it can be as easy or as hard as they want. 

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Players hum some songs as a clue, including "Baby Got Back," but no lyrics are supposed to be sung. 

Not applicable

Additional answer packs are available for purchase for $1 each, but the app supplies plenty of free ones to play. It's meant to drive additonal viewership for the popular Ellen DeGeneres Show

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Heads Up! is a party game that's being distributed by The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The game does not have any content that's overtly worrisome for parents, but since others in the room will be giving hints as to what's on-screen, parents may want to supervise play. The app encourages people to post videos of the hint-givers to Facebook and send particularly funny ones to the talk show. 

What kids can learn


Thinking & Reasoning

  • hypothesis-testing
  • problem solving
  • thinking critically


  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression

Engagement, Approach, Support


The app's entertaining premise and video replay of the hint-giver will keep players engaged -- and the appeal of charades is still universal. 

Learning Approach

Players must learn to communicate concepts so they won't outright say the word. This requires creative thinking, unusual techniques, and a quick wit. 


The app comes with plenty of included levels, but people who crave more can download several add-on packs for a relatively low price. 

What kids can learn


Thinking & Reasoning

  • hypothesis-testing
  • problem solving
  • thinking critically


  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression

Kids can learn to communicate ideas using alternative methods, forcing them to approach situations from multiple angles. This can be useful in the real world when what seems like the obvious answer is the wrong one and players are forced to view a problem from another point of view. Heads Up! brings the best of the classic game of charades into the electronic age, and it's a fun way for kids to practice thinking and communication skills. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

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What's it about?

Players attempt to guess the words appearing on their phone or tablet through hints given by other players. As one player holds their device to their forehead, a person, song, or other answer will appear on the screen. His or her partner must convey the answer in a variety of methods, without saying any part of the answer or offering an obvious rhyme. When the correct response is given, players tilt the screen up for a new keyword -- or they can pass by tilting it down. Rounds last one minute each. As the player guesses, the phone or tablet records video of the hint-giver, which can be viewed, saved, and shared after the round is over.

Is it any good?


Charades may not sound like a game that would do well in the app age, but leave it to The Ellen DeGeneres Show to find a way to successfully blend the two. HEADS UP! is a terrific marriage of video games and gaming with friends in the real world, offering a wide assortment of options and for-pay add-ons for fans who can't get enough. 

Guessing the answers -- and giving hints for them -- is great family fun. Also, being able to watch hint-givers gesticulate wildly adds a layer of silliness that will keeps kids (and parents) entertained for long periods. 

Families can talk about...

  • Play real-world charades with your kids.

  • Create a puzzle that seems easy (such as, "Find a way into this playhouse without using the door"), but then remove the obvious way to solve it.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Release date:July 12, 2013
Category:Trivia Games
Size:43.90 MB
Publisher:Warner Bros. Entertainment
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of Heads Up! was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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