Astro Bears Party
A highly polished, simple, and fun multiplayer game that anyone can play.
The primary attraction of Astro Bears Party is...well...party mode, which allows 2 to 4 players to select highly detailed, 3D space-bears each with different stats. Players then use the bears to run around a planet, creating colored "ribbons" (lines) for everyone to avoid, much like Tron Lightbikes. Ribbons can be created on the surface of the planet or in the air. If any bear runs into any ribbon, they are eliminated from the round. In each match in party mode, players must reach a certain number of points; the longer you survive, the more points you earn.
Gameplay Before the game begins, you must select one of four bears, each with different stats for speed, turning, jet capacity, and jet regeneration. Following the character selection, the bears are placed on a sphere and begin auto-running, creating ribbons behind them. Players cannot stop or change speed -- they can only turn, jump, and sprint. Turning is handled by the control stick, and feels incredibly smooth and responsive. Jumping can be performed with a tap of the "A" button, and holding down the button will use a bear's jetpack, letting the bear fly in the air while creating a ribbon. With a tap of the "B" button, bears will sprint forward for about a second, before getting dizzy and experiencing a "cool-down". The round ends when only one bear is left alive.
Other Features The game also has a single player mode, called Jetfish Hunting, which is essentially snake on a sphere. The player runs around, collecting Jetfish for points, trying not to run into their own ribbon.
Is it for you? Every aspect of Astro Bears Party is highly polished and oozes quality. From the menus, to the bears, to the gameplay, the entire game was well-thought out well-made. Although there isn't too much content between the two gameplay modes, each of them are a joy to play in short bursts. Grab a couple of friends -- even non-gamers -- and you'll have a blast with party mode. The game breeds competitiveness, strategy, and joy, and everyone will be laughing and competing. The music is great and fits perfectly, and the gameplay is simple enough for anyone to understand. You might not want to play this for hours at a time, but given a short play session here or there, you'll always have a good time. Jetfish Hunting is also a great way to kill a spare few minutes if you have no one to play with. However, the main event is definitely party mode, and if you have some friends to play with, then you won't regret spending $5 on this party game.