Ah, the party game scene. It’s where you get to kick back from the frustrating punishment of Dark Souls, grab a few friends or family members, and have a grand old time competing with one another. And, if you’ve ever played a party game with the likes of me, you’d better bring a bottle of peroxide because I’m quick to dish out the burn whenever I’m cleaning your clock. Of course, I get rather silent when the roles are reversed. However, when playing A Gummy’s Life on Nintendo Switch I just laughed and laughed regardless of my fate on the scoreboard – for about an hour. Then I was done.
That, I think, encapsulates this title from EP games perfectly. Of the Nintendo Switch party games on the market – basically, Super Mario Party – this one offers quicker thrills and a smaller window of fun before the novelty wears off. The game contains a handful of settings and four different mini-games. Up to eight players simply select their gummy fighters. Then, it’s trial by fire. There is no instruction, players are instantly thrown into a game and must figure out the controls on the fly. So, maybe select the training option first. There won’t be any instruction there either, but the game gives you a place to work out all the button commands on some enemy AI.
I tried this after my first match. It took me one minute of being pummeled by the CPU characters that obviously knew what they were doing to realize that L and R control the punching of your character’s left and right hands – not the other buttons you might expect.
Knock the sugar out of each other
Team Death Match and Free For All modes are exactly as they sound. Players must fight each other in teams or individually. If you pummel a gummy hard and fast enough, you can knock them unconscious for a moment. You then must use this time to grab them, drag them to the edge of the ring, and toss them out. As you might imagine, this instantly devolves into the visual hilarity I previously indicated. My son, as well as the rest of my family, were having uncontrollable giggle fits at the craziness that unfolded. Chasing each other down and trying to drag other players off the arena was fun in its utter simplicity and absurdity.
A game of Hot Potato amps things up and drastically shortens the match as one player is sure to explode every few seconds. Instantly, one gummy character is flashing and must tag another player to pass on the fuse. As you would expect, the fuse rapidly gets faster until one unfortunate soul is turned to gummy chunks. The game keeps going until the last gummy is standing. King of the Hill sees you collecting candy objects for points and isn’t quite as fun as the other game modes.
All in all, the game is entirely basic by design which is why the fun’s expiration date was rather quick. The cartoony frenzy and button smasher that is A Gummy’s Life offers instant thrills for groups of friends or family. Sure, the game can be played alone against an army of computer AI – but why would you want to? The fun, however brief, is in the friendly couch competitions. That’s the only place a game like this can be enjoyed so that players can feed off each other’s excitement to bolster the experience. But, if your party is going to last much longer than an hour, you better ensure that you’re packing additional entertainment options when the thrill wears off.
Release Date: Sep 25, 2018
No. of Players: 1-8 players
Category: Action, Party
Publisher: EP Games
Developer: EP Games
The publisher provided a code for this review.
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Accountant by day, video games enthusiast by night. Somewhere in between all of that, I’m a husband, dad, and generally a giant man-child, too. If a game is all about action, there’s a safe bet I’m playing it. I started laying waste to virtual worlds as a youngin’ on the ol’ Atari and haven’t stopped since.