Party Animals Review

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that everyone reading this review on this site probably would find something cute about Party Animals, developed by Recreate Games. The punchy, rollicking party beat-em-up then throw ‘em out game intends to have everyone in the 8-player lobbies enjoying themselves as they attempt to score points in various ways, mainly after using the fluffy yet furious punching, headbutting, and grabbing methods available to them on the many maps.Pick your animal, your costume, and then get thrown into the fray.

Party Animals is akin to Gang Beasts in that it provides a ragdoll, physics-based character to run around with. Using your fists, feet, head, or a variety of weapons including bats, fish, tasers, and more, you or you and a team try to knock out other players after a certain amount of damage or a particularly strong wallop. Once the character has gone limp, they stay that way for a certain amount of seconds, allowing for their limp body to be hurled over the side, into a trebuchet, or any other number of hazardous situations, leading them to being out for the round or needing to wait to respawn. During this “out of match” screen, eliminated contestants can throw fish, bombs, and other pitfalls onto the map to affect the game after their demise. A pretty cool concept that I’d love to see in more games. After a certain amount of points are gained, or characters are eliminated, the match ends and you get an end screen with an adorable winner’s podium and a picture is taken of all the contestants, followed by a rundown of the achievements and experience you gained during the match. It all flows pretty seamlessly and encourages back-to-back matches. There are daily, weekly, and all time challenges to complete, each with their own currency rewards or outfit customizations to unlock.

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Speaking of customizations, there are so many animals to play in this game, each with a nice selection of culture-themed or just plain fun outfits and colorings. Here are all the animal species in the game (since this is a furry/animal game-based site, after all:) Dinosaur, Dog, (Corgi, Shiba Inu, Husky, Hound, Golden Retriever, Bull Terrier) Cat (Tiger, Orange, Tabby Exotic Shorthair, Grey/Blue), Otter, Moose, Duck, Crocodile, Bunny, Pig, Gorilla, Cow, Snowy Owl, Unicorn, Goose, Lizard, Shark (Hammerhead, Great White), Bear, Seal/Walrus and I’m sure more to come. There is also a battle pass that’s included with the seasons, and a gacha ball machine mechanic to unlocking colors and styles that can’t be unlocked with the free currency. All of these accouterments are just for looks and provide no advantage, luckily, and the game does give you free draws and paid currency in the pass.

The gameplay feel of Party Animals can feel a little wonky at first. As with any ragdoll experience, it’s meant to feel a bit loopy and weird. Getting your character to do what you want can be a bit frustrating at times, but it’s all in good fun, and the next big bang to the head with a fish will have you back to realizing why you started playing it in the first place. Time can slow down with the biggest of punches or giant items hitting you in the head, which adds an extra “OOooof!” to the effect, even in online modes. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be having a good time in no time. The limited amount of things you can do also allow you to focus on choosing the right moment to make a leaping punch or strategic grab and throw.

As for the modes and maps, there are plenty (20 maps as of this review.) So many creative and unique ways of scoring points and winning the rounds have been devised here. Whether it’s launching bombs (or your teammates) across a river to blow up barracks, throwing fuzzy creatures into subway trains, fighting others for a chance to play an arcade minigame to score points, or knocking a ball into a goal soccer-style, the maps don’t get boring during a play session. The games also rotate between solo and team-based matches. Because of the casual style of ranking, points, and other scoring, it makes for a more fun atmosphere than a fiercely competitive one. Even so, if someone wanted to troll you and “throw” on your team, they could.

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Overall, I had a blast with Party Animals. I don’t know about the staying power it has, because it’s only “Free” on Xbox game pass on the Xbox, and costs $19.99 elsewhere, which seems a bit high. However, it is on sale right now ($13.99) and has very positive reviews around the internet, so maybe it can get some fun updates and more attention to propel it further forward. In its current state, it’s worth your time, even with its slight flaws of probably just being a “now and then” game with its repetitive gameplay routine, and lack of a ranking or competitive system. That may not be a bad thing, though. It does what it sets out to do, successfully, over and over.

Gaming Furever Review Scores:

Gameplay: 8 - Furious furry fun continues with every round, and the ragdoll controls feel satisfying for most of the game.

Graphics: 9 - Bright color palettes, fuzzy creatures, and eye candy everywhere during the matches.

Sound: 7 - Satisfying bonks, appropriately cartoony music, and other little quirks make for nice sound design

Value: 7 - The retail price of $20 feels a bit hefty for the type of game this is, but watch for it on a sale or free on game pass.

Final Score: 8 / 10

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