Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Video game number two hundred and eighty eight: Chuck E. Cheese's Party Games

Video game review number two hundred and eighty eight in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Chuck E Cheese's Party Games".

The game description for this game (and I'm quoting here) is as follows: A kid can now be a kid at home with Chuck E. Cheese's Party Games. Have all the fun and excitement of Chuck E. Cheese's without the crowds, the need to buy tokens, or the hassle of carrying prize tickets.

Any parent who reads the back of the box probably thinks they've found the best game ever, and I can hear the conversation with their child now:

Child: "Mom, can we go to Chuck E. Cheese?"
Mom: "No, I bought you that Wii game for Christmas. It's supposed to be just as good."
Child: "But mooooommmmmm!"
Mom: "Stop bothering me and go play your Wii game!"

I rented this game after seeing it in my list of recommended games for the Wii. I do that sometimes, but this time around, this thing was in my queue with very low availability for over a month (either it's very popular or they only have like three copies of it). I was patient and finally got it in the mail today.

OH my lord, nothing could have prepared me for how hilarious this game it is. You start out as a kid that wants to go to Chuck E. Cheese, so you ask your Dad for some money. He tells you "NO" and says you need to get a summer job if you want to go.

The kid you control in this game looks like he is about eight, so that makes this whole conversation pretty funny.

Anyway, your character gets a little rain cloud over his head, and he's sad that he isn't getting any money from dad. Then, he gets an idea cloud, leaves the house and goes to Chuck E. Cheese anyway. Every eight year-old's dream I suppose.

When you get there, you have no money, but luckily for you...some manager there is willing to have you make pizzas. He offers to pay you in tokens. You're thrilled, because tokens are exactly what you wanted in the first place.

You make the pizzas (actually, you just put the toppings on) and for every one you complete, the manager gives you one token. You can spend your tokens playing games, or spinning a wheel of fortune that will unlock the ability to play different games (spending more tokens). Any time you run out of money, you go make more pizza. Nevermind how illegal this must's probably the dream job of every little kid everywhere.

Just like the real Chuck E. Cheese, you are playing all these games to earn tickets, which can be exchanged for shitty prizes. Also just like the real Chuck E. Cheese, the prizes are INSANELY expensive. I've played at least 8 of the mini-games so far (I need to make some more pizzas to unlock some more tokens) and I only have 63 tickets. There is one prize that costs 30,000 tickets. I have no idea what person in their right mind will ever play this game that much, but I do know it won't be me.

Let's talk about some of the mini-games.

There's skee-ball, which feels nothing like real skee-ball. You can throw the ball with a "bowling" motion, but there's no way to really aim it, so it goes into the hole for whichever lane you start in at the beginning of the throw. As someone who actually wants to control the game I'm playing, this sucks...but kids might be excited that they can hit the 40 circle every time if they want to, just by lining up the ball there.

There's air hockey against a really bad computer opponent. There's a weak version of space invaders (but it's easy to get tickets in). There's a photo hunt thing where you find the differences between two onscreen pictures. There's a whack-a-mole game, which is a lot easier than the real life version. You don't have to aim, so you just whack your controller anytime you see anything on screen and you automatically get the points for it.

Eventually I saved up enough tickets for an 80 ticket prize. It was a water gun. That opened up a new area of the game called "my room" where all the prizes you win would go. I went in there, and there was my water gun. You could press "A" to play with it, and then it would make little soap bubbles by itself. When you were done "playing", you press B to go back to Chuck E. Cheese to make more pizzas.

What kind of fucked up world does this game take place in? Some poor kid has a parent who won't take them to Chuck E. Cheese, so he walks there and gets a job working for TOKENS? Then...he plays all the games there, until the end of time...trying to earn a digital prize worth 30,000 tickets?


Overall Score? 4/10. Despite being completely ridiculous...this game was such a train wreck that it was actually somewhat fun for a little while. I can see how a small kid might like this, but I also don't think there's any way it can compare to the actual paradise that is Chuck E. Cheese. your children this game only if there's not a Chuck E. Cheese within 400 miles of you, and then tell them "It's just as good as the real thing". They'll never know the distance...AND...they'll never want to go there.

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