Title: FUN! FUN! Animal Park
Developer: Nippon Columbia
Publisher: Numskull Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: PEGI 3
Release Date: 30/05/19
Price: £29.99 – Rapid Reviews UK were very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What the Developers say
– Fun for the Whole Family – The 30 unique minigames feature intuitive Joy-Con™ motion controls and easily understandable rules, allowing players of all ages and experience levels to join in on the fun.
– Play Your Way – FUN! FUN! Animal Park features three different gameplay modes: Tour Mode, One Match Mode, and Solo Mode. In Tour Mode, two players are guided through the whimsical Animal Land, competing in a series of matches and earning coins to determine the ultimate winner. In One Match Mode, players compete in one standalone round of their favorite minigame. Lastly, in Solo Mode, players can work to break their own records, playing on their own to achieve the highest score possible.
– Not Playing? Not a Problem – From meerkats to pandas to penguins, FUN! FUN! Animal Park hosts a full menagerie of cute and cuddly animals that makes the game as much fun to watch as it is to play.
– Funny Furry Friends – Adorable bunny and lion mascots help players learn the controls and rules of the minigames via an endless stream of hilarious conversation.
FUN! FUN! Animal Park is a multiplayer party game which has you playing with all manner of furry beasts. Most of them are cute and cuddly, which makes it all the more appealing! It’s very much your typical party game with around 30 minigames to sink your teeth into; each of them taking a few minutes if not less to complete. You can join in the party alone or with friends but as you probably guessed it’s a little more interesting with company.
There are a few options available in terms of game modes. If you’re more of a solo player, you can play the mini-games in either Normal or Hard modes to try and beat your personal best. The main bulk of the gameplay is in the Tour mode, and this is where you can play with a friend to try and outdo one another and earn the most coins. Split into four options there’s a good enough variety for short, or longer spanned sessions ranging from 10 to 40 minutes of game time. For some reason they decided to abandon the idea of playing with four players locally; so you can only play with two players at most. Most of the minigames on offer are motion controlled except a couple of them which require you to press ZL or ZR to capture a photo.
There’s a good variety of minigames on offer ranging from giraffe hula hoop to sheep shearing and even an interesting idea involving a flying squirrel and a fan. As with a lot of motion controlled games from the Wii era, it can be a slippery slope to tread. Each one must feel intuitive and precise in what you’re being asked to do, and while a lot of the games involve waggling your Joy-Cons, there are certainly a few duds in the collection and ones that don’t pull off as well. For example, one minigame sees you jumping hurdles as a sheepdog; however, there were points when instead of jumping, I would duck and vice versa even though I indicated the correct motion.
One of my favourite minigames was a nice spin on the sport known as curling. You take control of a penguin (and a brush) and have a long runway ahead of you, once you’ve thrust your Joy-Con forward to give your penguin a little push you watch as they go hurtling forwards. The aim is to stop them right before they fall off into the water so while they’re sliding forward, you have to brush the floor by waggling your Joy-Con left to right. The trick is not to brush too much as to sink off the end of the icy platform but brushing enough to give you the momentum to reach the coloured points.
It feels nice to have the Tour mode, but I couldn’t help but feel a little underwhelmed in how it plays out; you’re guided on a bus by a lion and a bunny who continually talk at you in between the mini-games. The idea is you’re travelling to different areas where all these animals live. However, your tour guides tend to waffle on just a little too long and even repeat the same sentences. This can grate after a few rounds, but fortunately, they’ve included the option to fast forward any dialogue! You may find yourself reaching for that button.
Audio & Visuals
The colourful and vibrant nature of the environments gives the game a very childlike nature. It’s quite clear the overall presentation is aimed at the younger generation, but it’s by no means a bad thing. The presentation is great; not amazing but also not the worst thing you’ve seen on the Switch. Sticking to cute and cuddly animals such as meerkats, dogs and pandas only help to sell the appeal.
The music is your standard minigame compilation affair, and I can’t say I noticed it all that much while playing, so I’ll let you make up your mind on that score.
FUN! FUN! Animal Park has an endless amount of replay value given the genre of game it is. You can play at beating your scores on some of the minigames in Solo mode, or you can play with friends and family whenever the need arises. The only limit on this is how much enjoyment you will get from quite a small set of minigames. I did find after I’d played through the 40 minute Tour mode I didn’t want to play again for too much longer; in Solo mode as well it’s not the full roster of minigames you can play it’s a handful as some wouldn’t work playing just by yourself competitively. If you’re a fan of jungle animals and minigame compilations, then you’ve got no end of replay value here!
It’s a good first entry for Numskull Games first foray into the publishing side of the games industry. There are some great minigames on offer that will provide a nice laugh and a giggle with friends; the problem I found is it feels a little half baked. The Tour mode isn’t fleshed out enough in between the minigames to warrant playing long, and your two hosts do start to feel like robotic clones of one another after a short while. There’s an interesting mix of animals thrown into the mix, and the counting minigames are probably the strongest of the collection, which says a lot considering they’re not motion controlled. On the most part, the controls feel responsive, but few let the game down.
FUN! FUN! Animal Park is by no means a dud entry to the party genre, and if you enjoy this type of game, there’s certainly fun to be had. Just tread with caution and don’t expect to be blown away with content.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase FUN! FUN! Animal Park from the Nintendo eShop at the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch/FUN-FUN-Animal-Park-1553066.html
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.