If you've ever wondered what it would be like to play as a bear in outer space then here's a game for you. Astro Bears Party is a simplistic and fun little party game but does it have enough variety to keep the party going?
As a bear, I've always wondered what it would be like to go to outer space. I've seen humans hopping around on the moon but never any of my own kind. So, you can imagine how curious I was about playing Astro Bears Party. When I was a cub, I remember playing a game called Snafu on Intellivision. It's a Snake-style game where you and a few friends control perpetually-growing lines and as soon as someone runs into a line, they're kicked out and the last player alive wins. Astro Bears Party follows a similar setup although it's in 3D. Basically, you run, dash, and jump around the surface of a planet while a thick line is drawn behind you. The goal is to survive so knowing when to jump and dash in order to avoid the lines and trap your opponents in the process is all the strategy you'll need. It's fun stuff and you can enjoy it with up to four simultaneous players.
Astro Bears Party allows you to play as one of four bears; the upstanding Neil, the kindly Igor, the constantly happy Xiaoli, and the goofy Bishnu. I'm glad that the character selection features a variety of bears because we don't all look the same. On the other hand, the lack of environments is a significant downside as all you get to see is a generic pink spherical planet with a starry background. I wish there were more planets that featured forests and streams with delicious salmon jumping around but nothing like that is included.
If you're a lonely bear then there is an extra single player mode known as Jetfish Hunting. This tasks you with chasing a succession of flying fish around the planet while avoiding your own trail. If you manage to snag fish efficiently enough then you get extra points and the goal is to basically see how high of a score you can get. Although this mode is a welcome inclusion, the fun factor only lasts about 15 minutes because the repetitive nature of the gameplay gets stale quite fast.
Speaking of repetitive, the multiplayer mode doesn't have much longevity either. Although the core gameplay isn't broken in any way, it's so basic that it overstays its welcome sooner rather than later. It's like playing an old-school simple arcade game in that you may have fun for a little while but you won't find yourself immersed in the experience for hours upon hours. As a result, most gamers will likely start to get bored after a few rounds. Therefore, you could consider Astro Bears Party a decent game to add to your bite-sized multiplayer gaming playlist but don't expect to play it for more than a handful of rounds at a time.
Astro Bears Party has a solid concept yet it fails to deliver any long-lasting good times. In other words, it's like swatting a delicious-looking salmon from the river only to realise that it doesn't have much meat on its bones.
- + Simple gameplay that's fun for a few rounds with up to four friends
- + Four distinct kooky bears to play as
- + Jetfish Hunting is a decent addition
- - The basic gameplay gets old much sooner than you'd hope
- - Severe lack of visual variety
- - Limited single player content