Start the Party! Save the World!: review

Start the Party! Save the World! is a new game from Supermassive Games, and is the follow up to last year’s Start the Party!, which was launched alongside the Move controller. The original was a Move-enabled mini game collection much like Wii Play with small, snack-sized games that were over before you could shout ‘Warioware’. So have Supermassive Games tweaked the formula enough to warrant this year’s sequel?

Rescuing the divers from the jellyfish is one of the better mini games.

We have to say after playing Move Mind Benders, this game pales in comparison. The game gives you a very simple main menu with two options of play, Group Play or Solo Play. The Solo Play mode gives you 20 levels to play through, and you get the option to play Survivor or Free Play. Free Play lets you attempt any of the levels at your own leisure and gives you a bit more time on the levels to help you hone your minion smacking skills, while in Survivor you need to rack up enough points in the same 20 levels to stay in the game. Survivor is manic, and it flits between levels rapidly with barely any time to think about what you are meant to be doing, but it can be quite good fun for a short while.

As the title of the game states, you have to Save the World from the appropriately named Dr Terrible. The game uses the flimsy plot that the evil Dr Terrible and his minions are attempting to take over planet Earth. It’s up to you and your trusty Move controller and PlayStation Eye to save the day with mini games that range from whacking enemies from a moving train with a mallet to saving divers from a giant octopus. The graphics are all beautifully drawn in a cartoon style with the player appearing in the background, or in say a helicopter, thanks to the PlayStation Eye camera, and it can be quite humorous seeing the Move controller turned into a mallet in your hand as you frantically wave it around whacking enemies like a demented joiner.

In this game you need to draw a circle around the invading aliens to destroy them.

The games themselves are very simplistic, with arm waving and a couple of button presses here and there, and nothing to keep you coming back to play them again. There is a high score system, but there isn’t an online leaderboard or any way to compare scores with friends, which seems like a major omission. In Move Mind Benders you at least got rewarded by unlocking extra levels, but all you get here are the 20 levels available, and that is it. Obviously the game is aimed at youngsters, with the cartoony graphics and quirky little games, but we think even the very young would get bored very quickly with what’s on offer here. Some games like Caveman Bounce, where you have to draw clouds to bounce falling cavemen to the exit, work well, but others fall flat, like the Overboard level where you need to rescue pirates who are walking the plank by catching them with a pan that you thrust through the hatches of a ship. Some of these close as you go to use them, which makes finding the right hatch a nightmare, and it feels clunky in its execution. We found this level was almost as painful to play as watching the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film, which is no mean feat.

Start the Party! Save the World! also supports multiplayer, and another person can jump into the single player game and disrupt your progress at any time. For instance, in Manic Medic as you balance a patient on your hand while the ambulance rushes to the hospital, a friend can control pedestrians at the side of the road to jump up and upset your balance. The game also has a couple of four player modes, with Quick Fire or Group Play being your choices. Quick Fire gives you a random selection of three mini games that are played in quick succession while a timer counts down. Players take it in turns to play, with the Move controller being passed around the group and the winner being the player with the highest score at the end of the round. Group play is not much different, with a selection of mini games lined up to play, and again players passing the controller around like a bong at a stoners party to see who can achieve the highest score. This lack of variety means the game gets boring very quickly, even for a group of drunk mates looking for a game to play after a visit to the local boozer.

The augmented reality works well, and can be quite comical.

The lack of levels and unlockables, along with the really short and simplistic games, means Start the Party! Save the World! has a serious lack of depth and longevity. Young children will have fun for perhaps an afternoon before becoming bored, and there is nothing here to keep groups of adults entertained for any length of time either. It really shows that the concept hasn’t moved forward from the original EyeToy, and for £15-£20 you would expect a lot more. As it stands the game should have been released as downloadable title and at a lower price point. This is one party that ran out of drink long before the guests arrived.

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Written by Kevin M

I've been addicted to gaming since my parents bought an Atari console way back in the 70's. I progressed to the iconic Speccy, Amiga, and all the Playstation platforms. Having seen games evolve from single pixel bat and ball, to HD constructed environments, gaming has changed much from my early years. Having defeated the rock hard R-Type on the Speccy, the biggest challenge I've faced so far is putting up with the hordes of American teens spouting abuse in the current generation of consoles, noob indeed!

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