Party Animals review | Startup studio Recreate Games gives us this new physics-based party game, that’s also the reason why this is currently an Xbox and PC exclusive. Being a new developer they couldn’t bring it to Nintendo and Playstation in a timely fashion. Pretty smart from Recreate as Microsoft has been promoting Party Animals on many gaming events and socials as a Game Pass title. This adorable multiplayer game is a perfect fit for Microsoft’s service, especially after the news that a similar game, Human: Fall Flat had 14 million Game Pass users. So is it worth checking out?
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on Twitter!
What we Liked!
- Delightful animal characters | A pig named Bacon and a bunny called Carrot. How do you think the gorilla is named? Well… you can keep on guessing as that’s Barbie. The basic game has over 25 characters that you can customize to your heart’s content with funny outfits. After launch, Ori and Naru will be added from the games Ori and the Blind Forest and Ori and the Will of the Wisps. No doubt more characters will be added, the potential of guest characters is huge. For example, I immediately think of Rare’s Banjo-Kazooie. It really is a strength of Party Animals to see these funny and silly characters on screen, humor is absolutely central in the experience. Even more of a certainty is that there are going to be more clothes or items for the crazy group of playable animals. The already available is again full of humor but I do think it takes a bit long to unlock new items. There is also an annoying in-game currency behind it called Nemo bucks. Those, in turn, you put into a gacha machine that you often find at carnivals. So you don’t know what you unlock and for which character. Importantly, you also unlock things by often taking the same character.
- Learning how to play Party Animals and Achievements | Most of you will start how I started, Party Animal’s tutorial. In this short mode you’ll enter a boxing ring and try to reach the end by jumping over obstacles and doing all the available moves. Picking up weapons or rolling around. A clever touch is adding a speedrun ranking for this mode but good luck earning a 3-star rating… completing the tutorial below two-minutes is a difficult accomplishment. One you’ll earn an Achievement for too! A warning though, Party Animals has a rough Achievements list that’s based on unique tasks that are luck and very skill-based. I personally love to see lists like this, as it tells how a player plays Party Animals. You can play the tutorial a million times you’ll never feel like you are in full control, but more on that in the mixed feelings section.
- Fun gameplay | There are a few fun mini-games to play as a team or alone in free for all. The most recognizable are sports-based. My favorite was soccer, in real life I was a goalkeeper for a long time and I can use that insight in the game as well. But you also have others where you have to survive on a bridge and try not to fall into the depths. Or where you play team against team to make a train go faster. You do this by throwing hot coal into your team’s train. Almost all mini games have multiple roles, in our last example you can choose to throw the coal at your train or you can also try to hinder the other team. Even with free-for-all battles, you can choose to get right into the chaotic fight or remain somewhat aloof.
- Visuals and sound | Party Animals shines in both sound and visuals. All different levels look vibrant and highly detailed, they are rather small but that’s part of the hectic fun. It was not what I expected. Of course I have seen the many trailers but was still surprised by the graphics. Of course it is not in a list of most beautiful games but nevertheless it is a pleasant experience with some highlights. It was not what I expected. Of course I have seen the many trailers but was still surprised by the graphics. Of course it is not in a list of most beautiful games but nevertheless it is a pleasant experience with some highlights. What walks with the most attention are the characters but the environments are colorful and fit perfectly. The sound is also on that level. With enjoyable and nostalgic tunes that linger. After a few minutes you are happily humming along.
- Clumsy physics | Physics-based control. That’s the main highlight of so many other games similar to Party Animals, I have to be honest… I’m not the biggest fan. This game however has the same frustrating controls as Gang Beasts or Human: Fall Flat. It makes this kind of games what they are, an unpredictable and hilarious experience. It also makes Party Animals frustrating and clumsy. Especially with grasping objects. It’s a deliberate gameplay mechanic but you have to try to grip a weapon correctly to do greater damage. It sounds logical but in no other game is the character going to pick up a sword on the sharp side…. it’s so unpredictable that I just keep using my dropkick. Good tip for winning more games! Watching eight players walk in circles and while doing a fist dance is part of the game. The physics make these group dances look more ridiculous than line dancing. (sorry)
- Nemo Bucks | Most of the unlockable items can all be done ingame. That with XP per character and the in-game money Nemo bucks. It’s not the worst form of monetization but I remain not a fan of it. That because more times than not it lures players to spend real money to unlock items faster. Important detail, it’s all for appearance differences so there is no gameplay benefit.
What we Disliked
- Not a game you want to play alone | A big reason why the game is fun comes from the funny moments you have with real players. A lot of magic disappears when you play against bots. Party Animals needs that feeling of playing against or with friends. The voice chat doesn’t stay silent for a minute and you almost laugh yourself to death with everything this game has to offer. That laugh part, what makes Party Animals so special doesn’t exist on your own.
How long to beat the story | /
How long to achieve 1000G | 50 hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Human: Fall Flat – Gang Beasts
Party Animals is great to play with friends online or locally. I had fun playing with all the silly animals but the physics got me a bit annoyed. This will be a game that will remain on my Xbox to play between larger gaming sessions!
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