Boo Party (Switch) Review
Tons of NPCs all with unique dialog and comical tone
Casual at-your-own-pace gameplay is all about navigating a massive mansion of the undead might be appealing to some
No map or insta-warp makes tedious trial-and-error backtracking constantly required
The loose swinging camera when changing direction is nauseating and no dash button is disappointing
The lack of quest markers means you’ll need to talk to every NPC until you get it right
A casual adventure game about helping the undead during a party, Boo Party is entirely based around playing errand boy. The reward? Why letting you take lewd pictures of topless monster ladies, of course.
You know that trading quest in Link’s Awakening? Where you start with a Yoshi Doll then eventually trade your way to unlocking a cool/critical item? Boo Party is basically this Zelda trading quest except it is the only type of gameplay. In other words, you play errand boy to a bunch of NPCs, tasked with talking to character A, then talking with character B, then completing the quest by going back and confirming with character A. There is no combat. No way to lose. No leveling. The entire game is about venturing through a massive mansion and completing “go get the thing” side quests for creatures of the undead.
You play as a big nosed, puffy haired photographer with the goal of taking pictures of these ghosts/undead/monsters. These pictures are then traded for spirit points which are used like cash to unlock key items to complete more of these side quests. It is an interesting loop and casual players will get the most enjoyment especially if adventure games are preferred.
The problem with Boo Party is the tedium and sheer amount of careless backtracking. This adventure game is in desperate need of a map, an insta-warp feature, and quest indicators. Since the mansion, the game’s environment, is huge and filled with numerous floors, it is confusing to navigate. Making matters worse, there are so many NPCs and they do not have quest indicators above their heads. This means the player is forced to talk to every NPC at all times because you never know if they will have a quest or a critical quest item. And even if an NPC says no now, they could very well have something different to say in the future. Although the game started simple enough, it gets really complicated thirty minutes into the campaign as the mansion then opens and tons of NPCs become available.
This is the perfect example of one of those games that you pretty much need to complete in one sitting or you will screw yourself. I made the mistake of saving and returning a few days later and I forgot everything, forcing me to painstakingly retread old steps by talking to each and every NPC until I finally activated the next quest. In other words, Boo Party is an NPC talking simulator. This process is made more tedious due to the lack of a dash button.
There are some mini games along the way, which provide a nice distraction from the errand boy gameplay, but these too became tedious and unfair. For example, the first mini game is essentially competitive Doodle Jump in which the AI would smoke me every time. If tediously talking with every NPC, in a mansion that is too big and confusing to cleaning navigate wasn’t enough, trying to complete these unfair mini games can easily make you rage quit and delete this game from your SD card forever.
I appreciate the different approach of Boo Party. It takes dedication to build an entire game around completing chores for NPCs. But if you are going to do this, make it easy on the player. Give me a map. Give me a quest indicator. Something! Otherwise, imagine trying to complete any side mission in Skyrim without a map or indicator – it is nearly impossible and would rely on repetition and dumb luck to complete. The pay off to see a plainly drawn non-animated monster lady topless does not justify the work it takes to unlock this reward.
Not As Good As: using modern quality of life features like a map and quest markers
Better Than: some classic adventure games with obtuse puzzle solutions
Wait For It: Boo Party 2: I’ve Got Something in my Front Pocket For You
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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