Sports Party, a Nintendo Switch exclusive from Ubisoft, looks to bring the beach party to your home. The game includes Frisbee, Jet Ski, Basketball, Golf, Skateboarding, and Beach Tennis, allowing you to play with up to four friends or by yourself. But is Sports Party fun in the sun, or a dud in the mud?
The Tip and The Top
Sports Party is easy to pick up, allowing anyone of any age and skill level to jump right in and play. The motion controls are intuitive and work pretty well, with no visible lag issues; playing this game with the motion controls is absolutely the best way to play this game. Playing the game without the motion controls (using the buttons instead) is not advised, which will be explained later in this review.
The game does offer the ability to create a player, which is a nice touch and as you level your character up through the games, you unlock new attire for your character to wear. This achievement system is a nice feature to have in the game, giving you something to work towards as you play through the games.
The music is catchy and the song that is played during the game selection is a great “beach party” song, unfortunately, there just isn’t enough different songs in the game. Not that this is a necessity, but it would have helped set the mood.
Visually, the game is fine with attention to details that make the island feel alive . At one point, there was a plane flying by in the opening cut-scene before playing golf, and as the avatar went up to tee off the ball, the plane was still flying by. Other times there were boats sailing by as well in the background. This makes the game feel like it’s part of a larger world that is alive around it.
The Flip and The Flop
As mentioned before, this game should be played with motion controls, as playing in handheld mode is not advised. The controls in handheld mode are not intuitive at all - if you ever played a golf game, all golf games since the beginning of...well,golf games, have had the mechanics where you hit the button to start the motion of your power meter, hit the button again when the meter is at the height of where you want your power to be, and then you hit the button one last time to land on a certain spot on the bottom of the meter, which reflects the accuracy of your hit. Apparently the creators of Sports Party missed this history lesson, because that is not how you hit the ball in handheld mode; instead you hold down the button until the meter is at the height where you want it to be and let go. If you’ve played any golf games in your life, the way that the golf mechanic works in this game will break your mind. It just doesn’t feel right in handheld mode.
Some of the physics in the games just don’t feel right either. In the Jet Ski game, it didn’t feel like you were riding over waves and there were times when your opponents were about to ram into you with their jet skis, but instead of a collision, you just phase through them. And when you hit turbo in the jet ski game, it felt like you were just fast forwarding the game.
While the game does offer up six different beach games to play, it leaves you with a feeling of wanting more from the game. The game doesn’t offer a whole lot of depth, once you played each game, you feel like you don’t need to come back again for the experience.
It’s great to see a party game on the Switch (something other than Mario Party), but the game just lacked the depth and fun to keep you coming back for more. This would be a fun party game with a few friends on a Friday night, but there isn’t enough for someone to want to play this game solo. If you are going to get this game, play with the motion controls and stay away from the button controls - you’ve been warned!
Review copy provided by Ubisoft