Party Crashers (Switch eShop) Review
Games with the word party in the title will usually go one of two ways. They’ll either be a very fun game that gets played over and over again with friends or family, or they’ll be incredibly mediocre that one must wonder why the word party was even in the title. Party Crashers falls into the latter of these two categories.
As philosopher Andrew W.K. once proclaimed, “My favourite thing about partying together is sharing the memories”. This is very true of games such as Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Goldeneye 007 and Rocket League. This is because those games hold a minor element of randomness that allows anyone to feel like they can win at any time. Party Crashers is a game that falters where it counts, causing more frustration than fun.
Party Crashers pits four racers against each other in a pseudo-isometric perspective. It feels like Super-Off Road, except the camera, follows the racers around the track. It is a very simple game that does not try to do too much at once. While this approach worked for Aussie developer Giant Margarita last year with Party Golf, the simplistic nature does not translate to party racing very well at all.
The controls in Party Crashers are very loose and clunky. Racing around the track took some time to get used to, and even beyond that, I had trouble trying to right my course after being nudged by another car. The constantly moving camera often made it difficult to figure out the right angle to face the car while driving. The tracks would bend, but the camera wouldn’t turn until sometime after the turn is initiated, and there are often periods where you’re looking at your car side on, hoping it wasn’t heading straight for the edge of the road. In the experience I had racing with my family, much of the blame for the loss was made on the game itself rather than the driver, and I felt that this was a fair assessment.
The main mode, Elimination Mode, has the four drivers racing around the track collecting weapons and trying their best to not fall over the sides or fall too far behind the rest of the race, thus being eliminated. Most of these races from my experience lasted somewhere between 20-seconds to a minute. There are a number of rounds that are completed before the final tally is done and a winner is declared. This is probably the most fun mode in the game, though the weapons in the game don’t feel like they have any kind of strength to them and hardly make a play in the outcome anyway.
There are other modes such as time trials and a battle mode included as well. Time Trial is self-explanatory, though traversing the tracks can be a chore due to the clunky controls, while the Battle Mode feels lacking because the weaponry still feels like it lacks a punch in this mode. If Elimination Mode is just barely fun, then Time Trial and Battle Mode are more of a chore to play than anything resembling fun.
Much to their credit, each mode has a host of ways to customise your race. You are able to change things in each race to what kind of car is driven, what weapons are available, how collisions work and more. This does add a lot of variety to the races and offers a little bit of extra replayability, but not enough to ultimately save what is not a very great game overall.
Some of the options actually make the game more frustrating to play. If the game is difficult to control to begin with, I don’t know why making collisions bounce further and removing the walls would make the game better. While playing around with the options, I found that eliminations matches didn’t even last the twenty seconds before they were over.
The aesthetics of Party Crashers is actually quite nice. It looks and sounds exactly like a racing version of Party Golf, with trance-like tunes and sound effects and a minimalist visual style that employs singular coloured objects on a black background. It is simple in practice and it does work to the game’s favour.
I am heaping on this game a lot, but it is worth mentioning that what the game does show is a lot of passion from the team at Giant Margarita. There are times where a game can be bad and miss the mark but does hold a feeling of accomplishment from the team that developed it. It’s unfortunate, because most of the negative points that I’ve made in this review could be fixed up with a patch or two, and then suddenly we have a very viable and fun party game on our hands.
I do enjoy playing a good, solid party game with my family. Though Party Crashers does miss the mark as a good, fun party racing game. With some additional love and care, Party Crashers could be great fun, and we’ve seen Giant Margarita do good party games before with Party Golf. I am sure that the partying won’t stop in the near future, and I do hope whatever comes next from these party animals will be a step in the right direction.
Rating: 2.5 / 5
- Nice neon aesthetics
- Loads of customisation options
- Not very fun
- Controls are difficult to master
- Clunky camera