With the recent release of Super Mario Party, ports of the Jackbox games (and a brand new one to boot), and an eShop bursting with couch-multiplayer indie games, Nintendo proves they are still the reigning kings of the party genre. If you’re looking to spice up your next party, consider the following heaping helping of cars with guns. Tactical gunplay meets arcade-racing chaos in Party Crashers. It’s no Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but there’s some fun to be had here.
In this title from Giant Margarita, you and your friends (up to eight total players) each choose a weapon and vehicle, before being pitted against one another in a variety of game modes. These include: time trials, elimination races, battles, and more. However, upon first booting the game all of these game modes will be locked except for the elimination races. The others unlock over time, as you play through the modes available. This is done intentionally as a way to ease players into how the game handles and controls, but some may find that a bit limiting. Luckily, there is an option to unlock everything right away from the options menu for those who don’t have the time or patience.
At first glance Party Crashers seems a lot like a casual, top down, arcade racer maybe leaning a little too hard into ‘80s nostalgia. But this game offers a lot of surprises that I never would’ve expected from similar titles. These include its surprisingly complex control scheme, utilizing triggers and face buttons to not only fire at opponents, but to also keep you on the road and avoid crashing at incredibly high speeds. You’re going to burn through your first few races very quickly because the controls do take some getting used to. Don’t be surprised if you run a corner too hard off the road and eliminate yourself right away, especially if you’re not super familiar with how top-down racers typically handle. Getting these controls down comfortably will take a bit of time but the learning curve is well worth it in exchange for the thrill of running all your competition right off the track.
The highlight mechanic of this game has to be its in-depth customization system. On top of the different vehicles, weapons, and colors to choose from for your own player, there is a complete level editor at your disposal. Everything from the terrain to the power-ups to the controls to even how the camera handles is fair game to tweak and adjust to your heart’s content. From there you can save your creations as new game modes and play through them with friends on procedurally generated tracks, making for a perfect arcade experience tailored specifically for you. If you’re a more casual fan and find the options a bit overwhelming, no need to worry. The trusty quick play feature gets you off and racing into a match within seconds.
Multiplayer battles with actual human beings are where you’re going to get the most excitement and fun out of Party Crashers. Whether you’re masters trying to best each other or novices trying to stay ahead of the AI opponents, there’s something here for everyone. But there is also a great amount of single player fun to be had in relaxing with the game’s music and visuals and editing together new tracks and game types. The colorful neon charm incorporated into the design and tone of the game is an absolute marvel to take in even on the hundredth race. We’re also running at 60fps, which makes the visuals all the more striking, even in the midst of chaotic gameplay. The entire game is covered in a colorful Tron-inspired aesthetic, and a subtle, yet incredibly dynamic, in-game soundtrack will keep you grooving right along. This one’s definitely worth a look for those pining for some classic ‘80s arcade racing.
Party Crashers Review
- Graphics - 7/107/10
- Sound - 8/108/10
- Gameplay - 7/107/10
- Lasting Appeal - 7/107/10
Final Thoughts: GOOD
If you’re looking for a party game with the just the right amount of action and style, Party Crashers will not disappoint. While its difficulty may scare off some players, the sheer amount of fun and charm bursting from this game will definitely be bringing them back.
Evan Roode is a full time journalism student and amateur game historian. His favorite song from Guitar Hero III was “Even Flow”.