• Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Publisher: Mastiff
  • Developer: Teyon
  • Number of Players: 1-4 (Local)

When Nintendo launched the Switch back in March a lot of people (myself included) were shocked to find that there was no real release of a party game like Wii Party or Wii Sports. And no, 1-2 Switch does not count. Long a staple of Nintendo systems, the omission was rather glaring. Nine months later, publisher Mastiff and developer Teyon drop a new party game compilation; Party Planet. Finally someone comes to our party game rescue, or do they?

Gameplay: Taking its cue more from Wii Party than Mario Party, Party Planet offers a selection of mini-games accessed from a central hub with no linking game board. The game starts off with only 10 unlocked and the remaining 20 must be unlocked through actually playing the mini-games. This gives you points that are used to level you up, or ranking as the game calls it, and ranking up unlocks more games as you go. Needless to say you will be replaying some of these games a lot if you want to unlock everything, and who wouldn’t want to do that? Right?

Party Planet Games

The mini-games themselves are a mixed bag, and the number of players needed changes from game to game. Some are only 1 player which is an odd choice for a party game but I suppose they are just fodder to get you started ranking to get the other games. But the real question is, are the games any fun? Well, on that front your mileage may vary. Almost every game in the collection is a clone of some better-known classic game. There is a wide range of homages here and you will see everything from Joust and Ice Climber to Zuma/Luxor and Snake emulated. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as they are represented fairly well and can be fun.

Controls: This area is where we start running into problems, as just about every game has some kind of odd quirk that makes playing the game more difficult than it should be. My friends and I were able to compensate for some of these quirks, but should we really have to? For example the Snake knock off takes your input from the Joy-Cons as more of a suggestion rather than actually controlling your onsceen presence. In the totem smashing game, the hitboxes seem pretty inaccurate as you can get conked without actually being touched by the pole. Needless to say, depending on the game this can be pretty aggravating.

Graphics: The graphics, much like the games themselves, will not wow you by any means but they are serviceable. This game is obviously low budget and all things considered, doesn’t look bad. But the character design and level design are just so bland. Nothing really stands out and I have all ready forgotten what some of the games look like. This could easily pass for a Gamecube or PS2 era game but, then again, these kinds of games are not know for their stunning visuals. The only compliment I can give them is that they get the job done.

Party Planet Thors Thunder

Music/Sound: As with most everything else in the game the music is completely forgettable with only about four tracks repeated across all 30 games. This comes across as just lazy to be honest. The sound effects are the same stock blips and bleeps you hear in just about every mobile or low budget game.

Summary: The Switch was sorely lacking a good mini-game compilation and alas, it still is. The game is not terrible by any means, but it’s just so forgettable. If you are trapped in the house on a rainy day with some friends or your kids you could sure do worse, but don’t expect the fun to last for long.

Pros:

  • Lots of variety in the mini-games
  • Good to play with kids
  • The rank up unlock system will keep you playing

Cons: 

  • Serious control issues in some games
  • The very definition of mediocre
  • Some of these games will feel very familiar
  • The price ($39.99) seems high for what you get

Rating: C

Please note that the physical edition can be found exclusively at Gamestop, with a digital release on Nintendo eShop launching December 12th.

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