Party games based on classic game shows usually offer plenty of cheesy fun so here's a new game based on the very quirky Fort Boyard.
Once per week, I try to catch up on the latest recently released and upcoming video games and last week, I watched a trailer for Escape Game Fort Boyard. I turned to my wife and said, "This looks pretty fun." She replied, "Hey, I used to watch that show back in England!" Wait, this is based on a TV show? Although Canadians like me (and perhaps Americans) probably haven't heard of Fort Boyard, it's actually an international sensation that began in the early '90s in France and since then, has seen many adaptations across the globe.
For the unfamiliar, it's a crazy game show that has contestants team up in order to earn keys and clues by completing physical and mental challenges so they can claim the fort's treasure for themselves. Throw in a cast of kooky characters including an exceptionally old man, a couple of dwarves, and a few dungeon masters and you're left with a winning formula. Plus, after watching a few episodes, I can safely say that this video game is a fantastic recreation of what the TV show offers. With that out of the way, let's get to the game!
Escape Game Fort Boyard features 2 main modes: Adventure mode is based on the game show while Boyard Party mode is set up like a board game that you can play either cooperatively or competitively and it's similar to a Mario Party game although not as complex. No matter which way you play, you'll end up partaking in plenty of mini-games that can be quite fun and challenging. You can also practice the mini-games via a handy Training mode menu if you'd like. Anyway, Adventure mode is where you'll likely spend most of your time and the goal is just like the TV show: complete challenges in order to earn keys and clues then claim the treasure after solving a riddle.
The mini-games themselves range from entertainingly challenging to tediously frustrating. Thankfully, we had fun with the majority of them. For example, the catapult game where you soar through rings is pretty silly, guiding a ball by tilting a maze is quite rewarding, and walking on rotating discs after spinning around in a chair so your character's all dizzy is very tricky and rather funny, too. However, there's a simplistic rhythm game where you run in a washing machine that lasts way too long, a challenge where you haphazardly steer a Flyboard to collect coins, and a super-finicky mini-game where you move one leg at a time while trying not to fall down a wall. Keep in mind; there are 26 mini-games in total which is decent considering how complex some of them are and there's definitely a lot of variety.
You can enjoy Escape Game Fort Boyard with up to 4 local players which is quite cool. With that being said, there are only 4 character models to choose from. You can change their names and fill out their bios but besides that, you can't customize them physically so they get stale to look at after a while. On the plus side, you can give your team a funny name and the characters actually chant it in-game which made me laugh out loud every time. Speaking of which, there's a lot of voice acting in Escape Game Fort Boyard and although it doesn't always match the subtitles, it adds a ton of personality to the gameplay. Hearing your teammates cheer each other on and listening to the dastardly old dude (Père Fouras?) provide commentary certainly makes the game world come alive.
Before wrapping this up, I just wanted to mention how random being able to succeed is in Escape Game Fort Boyard. Sometimes, we failed nearly every challenge yet ended up winning the game and other times, we were dealt extremely easy games and breezed right through the game with no problem whatsoever. Needless to say, I wish the difficulty was more consistent both with the mini-games and win conditions. If it was then this would be a lot more rewarding of an experience but it's surely still enjoyable for what it offers.
Whether you're familiar with the game show or not, there's no denying that Escape Game Fort Boyard is bursting with goofy multiplayer fun that a couch full of chums can easily have a few laughs with.
- + Large variety of silly mini-games that are great fun with friends
- + Solid adaptation of the classic show
- + Dialogue adds a lot of personality
- - Some mini-games are simply not that fun
- - Not enough characters / no customization
- - Success often feels random