Though highly anticipated, the Official Nerve app is underwhelming.
For the record, I have only seen the iOS version, but I’m sure this and the one for Android are substantially the same.
Let’s just walk through the app.
The colors scheme is perfect; vibrant and jarring. They are from the same palette that will be used throughout movie and in all the promotional material.
After the fist page load you are presented with the quintessential choice; Watcher or Player.
I initially chose Watcher. Maybe that says something about me. Anyhow, I am then shown 16 tiles on the right, each of which has a play button. On the left I see the slogan, “LIKE TRUTH OR DARE, MINUS THE TRUTH,” which I love. I’m not sure what the 24-hour game part refers to, though I’m curious.
I read on. “STUNTS PERFORMED BY PROFESSIONALS. DO NOT IMITATE.” Oh dear. First sign of trouble. Is this a car commercial or something? How can I dare people?
Nope, cannot dare people. In fact, there are not even real people to dare. All those tiles are just videos. They are prerecorded. No commenting or sharing either.
The guy in this video does set fire, as promised, to his parachute, but it’s just a stunt performed by a professional. You can go on YouTube and see a ton of these.
Also, he’s not doing it because I dared him to do it, which is basically the whole point.
What really got on my nerves (pun intended) is the number at the bottom right side of the screen. If you’ve read the book you know that the counter goes up as Watchers watch the dare. Here that number is just part of the video. Nothing is being counted. It’s a total fraud.
Moving on to the Players side of things, we encounter two Player profiles, Vee and Sid, and another warning, “STUNTS PERFORMED BY PROFESSIONALS. DO NOT IMITATE.”
I choose Vee (later I learn it doesn’t much matter). Then I’m asked to select 360 or Google cardboard. Is this going to be some kind of audio visual experience?
“CLIMB ACCROSS THE LADDER.” Okay, what ladder? A timer counts down from one minute. The Nerve theme music is playing. I choose to accept, worried that I’ll lose $10,000 because I don’t have a ladder.
No need. An animated woman climbs across an animated ladder. Ah. The professionals they were referring to are professional animators. You can swivel the phone to change your point of view. AHHH, she has no head! So who is going to give me my ten grand?
If you go through the process again, or with the other character, you get the same ladder thing with the same outcome.
Okay, so now to summarize.
- There is no live feed or live activity of any sort taking place on the app
- There are no payments of any sort taking place on the app
- There are no dares of any sort taking place on the app
At least let me comment, or share one of these generic videos, or something!
The app left me feeling disappointed and straight jacketed. This is really not a dare app at all. It is just a promotional tool for the movie. And not a great one at that. What a wasted opportunity.