Considering mini-game compilations aren't as common as they were a decade ago, perhaps it's time they make a comeback. Party Planet is a collection of 30 bite-sized games but is it a matter of quantity over quality?
Upon starting Party Planet with a chum by my side, I was surprised how quickly we started playing a mini-game. There's minimal setup, no overarching modes to explore, and very little need for instructions. Basically, you play mini-games and earn experience points while doing so in order to improve your rank. When your rank increases, you unlock the next batch of games. You can play the mini-games either solo or with up to four local players and the means to do so is rather comprehensive. For example, you can even share controllers if you only have a couple of Nintendo's severely overpriced Joy-Cons. Considering there are 30 mini-games to play, you'll spend quite some time at least seeing what Party Planet has to offer. Unfortunately, you'll also need to put a lot of time aside to unlock all of the games as grinding for enough experience is an extremely tedious endeavor.
I know what you're wondering: what about the games themselves? Well, to put it lightly; they range in quality. Some are decent, others are nonsensical trash, and a few are good for a laugh whether it's due to their poor quality or inherently goofy formula. Let's start with a few positive examples. Bouncing Fish plays a lot like Flappy Bird although the fish you control ricochets off walls instead of progressing through a stage. Meanwhile, Super Vegan Anaconda is a weird take on Snake where you steer an amphibian left and right in order to collect fruit and avoid running into obstacles. Simple games like these are rather unique and enjoyable for a short while.
On the other end of the spectrum, a lot of games in Party Planet are simply rip-offs of existing games and far inferior to the games that they're inspired by. This is something that I don't understand at all. If you're going to steal other people's ideas, why not improve upon them in the process? Anyway, River Defense is basically Zuma (which itself is a rip-off of Puzz Loop) although it's not even close to being as enjoyable due to the fact that performing chains doesn't make the balls move back or combine quickly. Meteors is an Asteroids clone where the playfield doesn't even wrap around while Alien Balloonists (which is a rip-off of Balloon Fight) suffers from the exact same problem. As a fan of classic games, I found these shameless and poor quality experiences to be downright offensive.
There are plenty of games that are just plain awful and a lot of the games (about a third of them) can only be played solo. However, one aspect that I don't understand at all is that this is supposed to be a party game yet there aren't any modes to have a party within. Ever since Mario Party debuted, gamers have been enjoying competing in fantastical board game settings so the fact that Party Planet has "Party" in its title yet it's basically just a menu full of games to choose from is frankly a bummer.
The most enjoyment you'll get out of Party Planet is having a few laughs at some of the mini-games. Most of the collection is composed of awful takes on classic games so if you're a retro gamer then it's best to avoid this load of farts entirely.
- + Contains 30 mini-games that you can enjoy with up to 4 local players
- + Some games are good for a laugh
- - Plenty of the games are inferior and shameless rip-offs of other games
- - No modes to tie the games together
- - Unlocking the games is tedious