Apparently The Planet Is Having A Party
With many controller and display options, the Switch is built for local multiplayer experiences and Party Planet takes advantage of Nintendo’s latest hardware. It is no Mario Party but at least this mini game compilation gives Switch owners something to chew on before the ineVitable Mario Party 11 launches on Nintendo’s latest hardware.
This collection of mini games cuts right to the chase by foregoing the board game aspect altogether. Instead, players can select any of the couple dozen mini games from the main menu, most designed around 2-4 players. One of the biggest issues with Party Planet is that several mini games can only be unlocked after the player performs well enough in pre-unlocked games. The problem is, many games are so poorly designed they become frustrating instead of entertaining. Take Lava Golf for example. Due to awkward control and tedious level design, earning an unlock star requires an intense amount of skill and tenacity.
Each mini game usually only lasts a few seconds and range from “eh” to “meh” in terms of quality. In fact, most games are blatant rip-offs of other games that were so much better. For example Alien Balloonist is Balloon Fight or Joust only without any style or detail. Bouncing Fish is a variation of Flappy Bird, a tedious game to begin with. River Defense is Zuma only with bad level design and loose controls. The card flipping Memory game doesn’t allow for use of the d-pad and makes using the mandatory analog stick awkward and inaccurate. Fennec Fox Tower is a clone of Doodle Jump or Ice Climbers without any personality. Super Vegan Snake is a Snake mimic with impossible controls. Meteors is Asteroids with bad animation. The list goes on and each game is essentially designed like a Flash game from the early 2000s. Sound effects are also generic and most audio tracks loop poorly.
Even though the quality of each game varies, there are some other little details that help the overall user experience. From the menu screen, the player can highlight games as their favorite by tapping the “Y” button. Also, each time a game is played for the first time, a tutorial screen pops up but doesn’t appear in subsequent play-throughs (but still accessible from the menu at any time). Even though this title is designed for multiplayer, mini games can still be played solo and support both single and double JoyCons as well as the Pro Controller.
Party Planet has the benefit of being the first party/mini-game retail compilation on Switch. This fact alone will draw attention as this type of game works well on Nintendo’s handheld/tabletop/TV console hybrid. But with cut corners and a tedious unlocking system, it will only entertain in small doses until Nintendo slaps Mario on their next Party game.
Better Than: Sonic Shuffle (Dreamcast)
Wait For It: Mario Party 11
Also Try: Mario Party: The Top 100 (3DS)