Monday, February 18

Review: Stunt Kite Party [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Here we go with another local multiplayer title that’s pitched as a “fun for all ages” romp. Stunt Kite Party is a bright and generally cheery collection of mini games that all have the same kite-flying base but then change up the formula (for some games more than others) to milk it for all its worth. The result may not be earth-shattering, and its control accessibility may not be as easy as you’d assume, but it still manages to leverage its variety to better ensure people can find some variants they enjoy and it at least isn’t a one-trick pony like many similar budget multiplayer games in the eShop.


Once you get accustomed to the nuances of steering and trying to use thrusts to keep your kite in the air you can begin to focus on the specifics of the various games, some of which are tougher to grasp than others. Collecting honeycomb and to return to a bee without getting hit and dropping them and what amounts to a multiplayer version of Asteroids are both solid games that work pretty well while ones that aren’t very well-explained and play out a bit wonky like a ghost capturing fall a bit more flat. In the case of the balloon-popping game the fact that you can’t merely make contact but need to have some momentum to pop them makes sense conceptually but when playing with younger kids it can also be more frustrating as they struggle to master the controls well enough to be effective consistently.


Aside from the trickier-than-expected controls there are just some quirks with the way the game tries to manage 4 players on the same screen thrusting around in all directions. Sometimes the camera will pan a bit but other times you’ll get thrusts of wind pushing you back but visually it can be tough to take everything in at once so there are times when you’ll seem to just inexplicably lose all of your momentum and fall. Power-ups can help act as wild cards, especially the lightning, but for some their specific effects are difficult to determine, making them a bit inconsistent. While there is a single-player mode that lets you play through a series of challenges talking to different characters in some different locales there’s a good reason that after a few losses it gives you an option to skip, there are some games that are simply aggravating to play against the CPU like the ghost capturing one where the lack of clarity on what you need to specifically do to be successful collides with the AI having no issue cleaning up while you typically struggle.


If you’re looking for something light, non-violent, and relatively easy for anyone to grasp Stunt Kite Party isn’t a bad option. While it’s doubtful that everyone will enjoy every mini game available there’s a pretty good chance at least a couple of them should be both approachable and fun for everyone. Playing without a full group is possible but not really recommended, just be sure to give everyone time to get down the basics and then slowly walk through each game to determine how they work and which are your favorites.


Score: 7

Pros:
  • Full of bright and cheery color
  • A variety of mini games with very different objectives built on the same base
  • In general a very family-friendly experience

Cons:
  • The controls do take some getting used to and are more complicated than you’d assume
  • Some ambiguity in terms of the nuance of some games and power-ups
  • While solo play is possible it’s not very fun