Sometimes in life, you will come across a game that you know isn’t for you. Some people don’t like shooters, and some people don’t like party games. Hey, not every game is for every gamer. In the case of Chimparty, the odds were stacked against it. I’ve already played an amazing party game this year, and also I’m not 7 years old.
Like another party game that came out this year which we won’t name, Chimparty is a virtual board game that has players fighting head-to-head in mini games. Winning these earns stars, which allow you to travel around the board, with the person at the back always getting a dice roll. This can just be a number to move forward, or a bonus that might bump everyone else back a square.
The board game is very generic; move forward, some spaces say move back, some spaces say move forward, and some have mini games. The goal is to get to the end first.
I would like to elaborate, but there’s nothing to elaborate on. That’s pretty much it.
Look, let’s be fair, even the interesting takes on board games on screen often suck; where a game like this validates itself is in the mini games. The plumber’s version had great minigames, and Chimparty… well, it has minigames.
Thanks to its use of PlayLink, you download an app on your phone to play Chimparty. All the minigames require one button, which is a great idea; it means you spend the time watching the screen rather than your phone. This does, however, limit the novelty factors the game designers were able to use, and it shows.
Games range from flinging your chimp through a basketball hoop, to flinging your chimp at a target. To playing a weird version of pong where the chimps are swimming, to other slight variations. There’s a lot of flinging. Mechanics have been cleverly implemented to use the one button, such as chimps having a moving arrow so when you press the button it fires them in that direction, to the chimp swinging around so releasing the button flings them that way. It’s frustratingly difficult, yet fun at times, but the 4 player challenges like chimp pong are the killers.
If you play with 2 people, the game is filled up with 2 bots. The pong game has you each having a direction, so you pull the pad one way, and your partner the other. This was sketchy enough when paired with a human, but the bots would regularly pull the pad away from where the ball was going. This was, obviously, INFURIATING.
One thing that Chimparty has going for it is the aesthetic. The chimps are cartoonishly designed to remind you that you are playing a silly party game, which is reinforced with the unlockable clothing, from mohawks to pirate hats. Bright colourful backgrounds and cheery silly music does give it a fun party game vibe, which isn’t always easy to get right.
I can see some appeal Chimparty holds. It’s silly and fun, even if it’s shallow in the gameplay department. It’s not for me, but if you had a group of kids, or only have a PS4 and want something silly for the family to play, it could be worth a look. However, with other games doing the same thing better, I’m not going to go bananas over this one.