Chimparty Review – Monkeying around never felt so bland

Platform:
Playstation 4
Released:
November 14, 2018
Publisher:
SIEE
Developer:
NapNok

Review

Chimparty is among the latest crop of titles to launch on PS4, utilising Sony’s mobile-device-meets-console technology PlayLink, and has arrived just in time to catch younger audiences heading into school holidays. While the game is packed full of colourful arenas, zany characters, and over-the-top silliness, Chimparty ultimately fails to capture any real footing in the party game genre, especially with titles like ‘That’s You‘ and ‘Frantics‘ already on the market.

The game takes many pages out of Mario Party’s book and brings it over to the PlayStation 4. Set on a virtual board game map, players take turns competing in a variety of minigames and try to beat the others to the end of the game – a banana-laden sofa perfect for lounging about.

The minigames don’t feel that different from each other, with most employing the use of your smart device button to makes your chimp jump, dance, and fart around the arena. Yes… fart.

Dodging barrels, aiming for hoops, scoring goals against the opposite team – these are the type of repetitive game modes on offer in Chimparty. My favourite is a mode that has you launch your chimp as hard as you can across the screen, and then mash the button to rapidly fart yourself as far along as you can.

A child’s dream game.

The best quality Chimparty brings to the table is its outrageously colourful visual style. Gamers of all ages will be able to appreciate the rich cartoon graphics and fluid animations, and at times the vibrant visuals evoked memories of Crash Bash and Mario Party back in the 90’s; simple, childish joy.

High praise can and should be given to the animation team behind Chimparty; the game feels modern and sleek, despite being controlled by a single button on your phone or tablet. To be fair, I barely noticed that I wasn’t even using a controller because PlayLink titles do such a good job of giving the player control using such a limited means of engagement. Kudos to you Sony, kudos to you.

“… couldn’t entice me to play more than a few rounds with my family …”

Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot to back up this visual treat, with gameplay, voice performance, and lasting appeal falling horrendously short. Even a tacked on character customisation feature couldn’t entice me to play more than a few rounds with my family.

Perhaps if I had kids of my own, I could have appreciated it in a different way. As a group of adults diving in to a new PlayLink game, it failed to pique any interest.

The aspect that derived the more ire from me is the voice acting… it’s just SO bad. I’ve spent a fair amount of time watching children’s TV shows, and I can tell you with great confidence that even the most droll, uninspired, or obnoxious budget cartoon voice acting doesn’t hold a candle to how terrible the voices in Chimparty are. I really don’t know what else to say; I ended up muting the TV and just following the onscreen text for instructions because I was putting my phone’s life at risk if I had to hear the phrase “tap to toot” one more time.

The bottom line

I usually keep an eye out for new PlayLink releases, as it is an easy way to get my siblings and parents involved in my greatest hobby. We’ve spent hours of fun with games like Knowledge is Power, That’s You!, Frantics, and Hidden Agenda. Chimparty presents a colourful, animated board game experience on the surface, but it doesn’t take long to turn into a boring, annoying, and repetitive grind through a relatively short game-time.

Young audiences may enjoy the game, but I’m afraid most players with even a hint of taste or standards will turn their nose up at the tootin’ chimps and their silly antics.