Roll and Flick
Mini-game compilations are a dime a dozen these days. It seems if you put the words “mini” and/or “party” in a game title and slap together some rapid-fire games, you have a “hit” on your hands. However, these games are generally overpriced and of questionable quality. Look no further than Atlus’ 101-in-1 Explosive Megamix for one of the most egregious examples of this type of exploitive game. Globulous Party is another mini-game compilation in this vein, containing 20 sports-based mini-games. However, although the formula is a little old, and the gameplay doesn’t exactly push the mini-game format forward, there is a certain something about Globulos Party that makes it a bit more charming than other party-style games.
The gameplay in Globulos Party revolves around being able to throw little ball-shaped characters (aptly named Globulos) around a playing field. The Globulos can be selected and dragged once per turn, and they can only travel as far as a ranged arrow. This mechanic is used in all twenty of Globulos Party’s mini-games. So, if you are playing a game like Football, you can position and roll your Globulos around the field until you reach the goal at the other side. Conversely, if you are playing Monster, you will have to flick and roll your ball away from a scary-looking Globulos that incinerates whichever Globulos is closest to him. This flick and roll mechanic is the same throughout all of the game’s 20 mini-games, and you’ll have to roll your Globulos around everything from a dart board to a tic-tac-toe board to experience all of the game’s different features.
As you complete these mini-games, you will be able to unlock more Globulous characters of unique shape and color. Oh, and they have cute little expressions too. I would be lying if I told you that there was really much incentive to play through all three levels of each mini-game. Collecting all the different Globulos is not at all interesting, and the game makes no attempt to keep you playing. The whole thing feels like a cell phone game, which is not surprising considering both its developer (who previously worked on an iPhone title) and its price of 500 points.
Actually, the game’s price is its only saving grace. While cart-based mini-game compilations retail for $30, this mini-game compilation is only a fraction of that price and includes just as much content. If you really need a mini-game compilation, Globulous Party fits the bill nicely and is a pleasant, cheap alternative to cart-based options or other, more expensive DSiWare titles.
In addition to its great value, Globulos Party also has something else that many other titles don’t have: multiplayer. You can either play via the DS’ download system if you have friends with their own DSi systems, or you can use a “hot seat” mode that allows you to pass the system when you are done with your turn. These multiplayer options are a great addition to the gameplay, and certainly aid in justifying the $5 investment you made in the game.
Visually, Globulos Party is on par with other DSiWare titles. Both the stages and the Globulos have a very simple look, and the Globulos themselves appear as tiny little sprites. Animations are smooth and solid, and there are no visual hiccups as you roll your little creatures to glory in your desired mini-game. The game’s color palette is very bright and cheerful, and though the game isn’t exactly a technical feat in the visual department, everything here looks sufficient for a downloadable title.
Unfortunately, the sound isn’t in as good of shape as the visuals. The game features only a smattering of music, and there is virtually no audio whatsoever accompanying the mini-games, aside from repetitive nature sounds that include birds cheeping and insects humming. The sound is definitely the most annoying part of the game, and even though I wasn’t expecting some grandiose score to accompany it, I expected more than just nature sounds I can hear just by opening a window.
It is important to note that Globulos Party is based on Globulos, which is a flash-based website that features several of the same mini-games. However, the DSi version’s easier control scheme and multiplayer options set it apart substantially from the Globulos web portal. However, if you are more comfortable with your mouse, and don’t really care about multiplayer options, then you may want to stick with the free online version, as it won’t be worth your 500 points to upgrade.
When you browse the Nintendo DSi Shop channel, you are likely to see a lot of mini-game compilations. Most of these compilations include some sort of touch-based gimmick that is fun for awhile and then gets monotonous quickly. Globulos Party is one of those games.
At its heart, this title is nothing more than a compilation of 20 mini-games that use cutesy ball-shaped characters to play watered down versions of football, soccer, foursquare, and basketball. However, even though there is not much to this game, at 500 points, it is good for a few rounds on occasion, and the multiplayer options make it a worthwhile title if you love mini-games. If you have 500 points burning a hole in your virtual wallet, Globulos Party is a worthwhile investment. Just don’t expect greatness or more than ten minutes of amusement at a time.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.5 Graphics
Pixel-based visuals are bright and fun, but not technically impressive. 3.9 Control
The stylus-based controls are easy to use and there is almost no learning curve. 1.9 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
There is almost no music, and sound effects consist of repetitive nature-like sounds that include buzzing flies and screeching birds. Not exactly the most entertaining of sounds. 3.0
The game is entertaining for five or ten minutes at a time and works well as a timewaster. If it was any more than 500 points I would say don’t bother, but for the money, the game is a good value.
3.0 Overall Rating – Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.