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Rock, Paper, Lies Review

Official Review

November 17th, 2015 12:42am
Reviewed by Stuart Philip
This DVD is a study in contrasts. The concept and trick is excellent and that alone deserves 5 out of 5 stars. It is based upon a Banachek effect and is in fact endorsed by him. It is truly prop-less mentalism that can be performed with no notice. However, the production quality for such a great trick is lacking and the promotional video is somewhat misleading due to the editing.

In Rock Paper Lies, the performer asks two participants to play Rock Paper Scissors behind his back and not to reveal who won. Then the performer asks each spectator to either be a liar or truth teller. If the spectator is a liar, any question asked of them by the performer must be answered with a lie. And, of course, if the spectator chooses to be the truth teller, he must always respond truthfully. The spectators can choose the same or different roles. Then, the performer ask only three questions, which each spectator answers according to their role, and the performer is able to guess the winner, the roles of each and what was the winning hand i.e. paper over rock.

This effect is fun to perform, easy to learn and very compelling. It is endorsed by Luca Volpe, who does the introduction/trailer for the DVD. It is also endorsed by Richard Osterlind and Banachek himself. However, the promotional video does not show the performer asking the necessary questions so a purchaser that has not read this review may believe that the spectators merely play rock paper scissors behind the performer’s back and the performer is able to guess who won and how without any questions. This is not the case. The ad copy is accurate.

The questions asked of the spectators do not feel like fishing because the performer is asking them to be able to test his body language reading ability.

The performances on the DVD are also lacking. There are 3. The first one is fine and shot with high quality audio and video. However, and unbelievably, the next two performances are shot on an iPhone and the quality of the audio is horrible. It is as if the creator, Jay Di Biase, was walking around, stopped any people on the street (in one case a noisy street) and did the routine. It is surprising that Titanas took such little care in such a great project.

Also, the explanatory section of the DVD is poor. Di Biase explains the method using one spectator and not two. He has the one spectator play both roles. It could have been explained much better, but it just wasn’t. That is not to say that the effect is hard to learn because it is very easy to learn.

The DVD also contains some art work that can be used in a stage or parlor setting. It contains pictures of a rock, paper, and scissors. It also has diagrams for the liar and the truth teller. This is a nice touch and the artwork is great. And, if you don’t understand the oral explanation, there is a cheat sheet. I think that most people won’t need the cheat sheet. If you can get over these issues, you will love this project.
There is an alternate version of a truth teller/liar effect with 3 people (and not using rock paper scissors) but that is only briefly explained and not demonstrated.

The bottom line here is that this is a very impressive mentalism routine that does not require any set-up and can be performed anywhere at anytime. It would have received 5 out of 5 stars if the promotional video was not edited in a way that would be misleading and if the quality of the demonstrations and explanation were better.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Rock, Paper, Lies

Author: Di Biase, Jay
Publisher: Titanas
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $24.95
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Manufacturer's Description:


ROCK, PAPER, LIES. A classic Rock, Paper, Scissors game... gone mental!

The mentalist turns around while two spectators are playing rock, paper, scissors (or even an imaginary game), NO WAY he could know who won and what symbols were played, and yet using their body language he can reveal everything! Rock, Paper, Lies is a rock, paper, scissors game where you will not only be able to guess who is the winner, but also which symbol they played with and who is lying and who is telling the truth. Jay Di Biase gave a new life to a well known method creating a mind blowing, propless mentalism routine.


"Usually when someone says they have improved an effect they have only improved it in their mind to the detriment of the original routine or effect, in this case, this is not true. This improvement takes the liar logic problem into a whole new arena opening up doors for many more applications... well done."
March, 2015

Jay Di Biase's RPS is great! Based on Banachek's liar/truthteller effect, Jay has taken the basic idea and added a wonderful take with the Rock, Paper, Scissor game. When he first showed me this in Italy last month, I was knocked for a loop even though I knew the original effect! It all seems so innocent and yet you know everything! It's the perfect anytime/anyplace effect. If you need further recommendation, let me just say I have added this effect to my repertoire and I am doing it everywhere! I love it!
Richard Osterlind
March, 2015

This is the best application and improvement of the liar/truth teller method that I have ever seen! This is propless mentalism at its best!
Luca Volpe
March, 2015

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