Publisher: Mastiff Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Category: Party, Arcade, Multiplayer & Adventure
Release Date: 7th of December, 2017 (NA Physically) & 12th of December, 2017 (NA Digitally)
Fun for all the family!
With the Christmas Holidays around the corner, it is nearly time to catch up with old family and friends, purchase the final presents and wrap them up and start planning all the activities you aim to do when visitors are over. If you’re a gamer though, clearly one of those activities will at least consist of playing a game with some of them and if it’s a party game you’re after, which isn’t one of the 4 Jackbox Party Pack games or 1-2 Switch then Mastiff Games might just have you covered!
Developed by Teyon and published by Mastiff Games, Party Planet is the first game for both parties to release on the Nintendo Switch and is a party game that is out already physically via GameStop in North America and digitally for North America on the 12th of December. Only, it’s a party game that the whole planet is invited to, as Party Planet comes packed with 30 different games of such variety that there is something for everybody. In fact, there is so much variety that Party Planet even comes packing with an old school throw-back thanks to a revival of the old Snake game. Snake was the first ever game I played on a mobile device and basically consisted of making a snake eat, avoid hazards, walls and itself. Well, with Super Vegan Anaconda, the gameplay is pretty much the same, except players can play against one another, fighting for food, whilst trying to avoid one other. It might be easy when both snakes are small, but it’s a whole other story when they’re big.
However, while there are 30 games in total, which all share the same particularly bright and playful art style, to anyone who has just picked Party Planet up, you might want to do away with the notion of expecting you can play any of the 30 games in whatever order you want, as not all games are available from the get-go. Like with 1-2 Switch, additional mini-games need to be unlocked and in order to do that, you will need to play any of the 12 games that are available and do your best to level up.
While some might deem the whole levelling up gimmick as being unnecessary, as it might have been more fun to literally jump right into any game, at anytime, anywhere thanks to the portable aspect of the Nintendo Switch, instead there is a rank system at play. Playing the games on your own or with others can see you earn points and the more you have the better, as earning enough points, will see you ranking up and when you rank up, new games will be unlocked, more fun can be had the cycle will continue to repeat until you’ve eventually unlocked everything. The process can feel a bit long winded as there are 1o ranks in total, so it’s important to take the slow. Yes, it’s nice to be able to play a different variety of games, but if you’re in a hurry to get everything, then that will only put a dampener on the fun. You would actually be better off taking the good old fashion “nice and steady” route, which in other words is just play with friends, family and co-workers and enjoy every minute of the maddening games. If you must speed things up though, your best bet, when you’ve unlocked them, is to stick to playing either the Bear Battalion game that has you and friends play as Vikings and punch bears in the face that seek to maul you to death, or Frosty Hockey.
Personally speaking, they are two of my more favourite games as not only are they the ones I’ve enjoyed playing the most with others, but they’re also some of the easiest ones to pick up, but hardest to master, as both games can easily get immensely intense in no time at all. It also doesn’t hurt that both games can see you earn a huge amount of points, should you possess the speedy reactions both games can demand. Sadly though, while Party Planet does possess a number of good games, with some that only one player can play, with others being team and team vs. based, there are some games that are of a much lesser quality.
It’s not just that their bad, but more like where the game tries to be so diverse that some of them just don’t fit in at all and look bad in comparison, but do still control pretty well, just as long as you remember to take the time to read the controls before each game as each are played differently. For example, if you get stuck on the likes of Underwater Escape, all because you can’t kill the darker coloured sharks, because you forgot to hold down the L button to dim your colour before firing because you didn’t read the instructions.
Something that does need to be said though, while Party Planet can work as a single player affair, it’s not a very good one, so it is best you always have 1 or 2 people at least to play with (up to 4 players supported with a single Joy-Con Controller being more than enough for each player.) Just having someone to play with, can drastically transform your Party Planet experience and if you do pick it up, then in addition to the games I mentioned liking earlier (Frosty Hockey and Bear Battalion,) then be sure to give Hopper Jump a try as that platformer can swiftly turn into a fast-paced race, but if it’s a challenge you’re after, then why not give Fennec Fox Tower and Cups of Truth a try? One will test your reactions and gaming prowess and the other will test your eyes and memory! So what do you say, are you ready for the Party Planet? The Party Planet is ready for you!
In a lot of ways, Party Planet is the party game 1-2 Switch wasn’t. It’s skipped the videos as seen in 1-2 Switch and has instead replaced them with approachable flash-like graphics and an alright ukulele tune when in game select screen, with varying soundtracks and sound effects encounterable on each game. Furthermore, while it is not cheap by any means and will require some work to get all the games and nor does it show off HD Rumble like Nintendo’s very own Switch party game does, it is $10 US dollars cheaper. Therefore, not only will you save yourself some cash that can be used to buy one of the many cheaper indie games available in the Switch eShop, but you’ll even save yourself having to look like a bit of an idiot as well and I don’t know about you, but that’s a winner in my book!
THE VERDICT: 7/10
*Review Key Provided by Mastiff Games