Lockdown has brought misery to many people. The list of reasons is never ending, but isolation has to be near the top. As a species, we thrive in community settings and love to mingle with friends and family. Gaming has allowed many people to fill that void, physical friendships has given way to virtual ones, and families have bonded through couch co-op titles.
The party game scene was once considered a niche genre, and a small player base would buy every title available. They’d invite their friends around for a session, or plan gaming evenings with their family. For many people this has become the new norm, so this genre has exploded. Many weird and wacky titles are added regularly, so there is plenty to choose from. Because of being restricted to one household for such a long time, it was a relief when I saw my latest review title advertised. Unspottable from publishers and developers GrosChevaux, is a fun, family orientated party game.
There are plenty of these about. What makes this one stand out?
There are an awful lot of party and couch co-op games on the market. It’s flooded with choices, so to stand out, you have to create something special. I think GrosChevaux has done exactly that. Simplicity makes this so fantastic. Many levels await you and up to 3 other players in what is a giant game of hide and seek. Each stage has goals to aim towards, and points are awarded based on success. The player who reaches the set target wins outright.
Hide and Seek, that doesn’t sound that fun!
The idea of playing a game that you’ve played to death as a child may not appeal, but let me explain. A variety of stages are presented with many obstacles and objectives to be avoided and observed. Each playable character looks and acts the same as the NPC robots. You must hide in plain sight, observing your surroundings, trying to find who is a robot, and who is real. Punching someone gives away your position, but violence is the key to victory. Most of the stages require you to hit the opposition, smack a robot and it collapses, slap a fellow human, and you gain a point and they are eliminated.
It’s not all about hiding from human eyes, though, robots can also attack you, as can the environment. Bombs will fall on you; dance moves must be observed and followed, instructors will order robots to punch and spotlights will give away your position. It’s a strategic nightmare, but everyone is in the same boat.
This is as much a game of pace and violence as it is guile and stealth. Running around like a headless chicken is all but assured to get you beaten up. Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey springs to mind when you choose an approach. If you believe that you have been clocked by your opponents, then you can perform a distraction that allows you to run and hide. The screen pans away from the action and you must decide whether you run or stand and bluff your enemies. It’s a brilliant twist and caused many arguments when my wife and kids thought they had got close enough to attack. It’s all about moves and countermoves. Think wisely and act quickly!
Much of the action plays out in front of you from a bird’s-eye perspective. A clear line of sight can be had for all players involved, but yet it’s madness to start with. Identifying your character is a challenge, but this issue is equal across the board. The art style is a simple cartoon approach that works really well with this genre. A mixture of backdrops keeps the gameplay varied and exciting. The use of colour matches each of the scenarios and brings each one to life. The hectic gameplay is aided by how smooth it runs. I experienced no issues or lag, which is impressive as the screen is bombarded with objects repeatedly.
Upbeat music and thundering hits.
The audio goes hand in hand with the visual presentation. Each of the levels has a different scenario and theme that requires a unique audio, GrosChevaux doesn’t fail to deliver. You are treated to a mixture of funky dance songs, sneaky slower paced tracks, and over the top adrenaline pumping beats. This combined with amusing and accurate sound effects makes this a great title to listen to.
Other than the odd issue with identifying your character, I had no problems with controlling this simple to play game. If you wish, you can select a tutorial at the start of every session. With a clear explanation of the fundamentals and the controller layout explained before each match, you can’t go wrong. Unless you are my wife, of course (Luckily, she doesn’t read my reviews *PHEW*).
Party games bring people together and make you play again. How about this one?
Though the concept is as straightforward as they come, this game has ample replay value! It’s overflowing with competitive elements, and the objectives and different situations mean that no match is the same. With many characters to unlock, plenty of stages and a moderately challenging achievement list, this will keep you playing for hours.
With a lack of online play, it will restrict its audience, but I believe it’s hit the market at the right time. A captive crowd will love to compete and beat each other in this fun title. Do I recommend it? I do. It’s fun, simple, and will make you all have an argument. Think Monopoly, but finished much quicker. Available for £9.99 it can be purchased here if you fancy the latest party game to land on the virtual shelves. Blend in, observe your surroundings, and punch the life out of each other. Hide and Seek has never been so brutal, or such fun!