Monday, May 27

Review: Hungry Baby - Party Treats [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Party games are definitely something the Switch was made for and there’s already quite a wide variety of titles on the console that are at their best when you’ve got people over. The challenge with the genre tends to be finding the balance of simple to quickly understand and fun, something we’ve seen developers shooting in all directions with to date. In the case of Hungry Baby: Party Treats the needle points towards simplicity pretty much to a fault, resulting in an experience that generally falls somewhere between insultingly basic and mind-numbingly frustrating.


At its core this is really a game focused squarely on trial and error, and that means a lot of dumb luck or simply dying endlessly while you painfully discover which way to go. Your goal is always to get your sweet treat character (you’ll have many deserts to choose from) from one side of the screen to the other. Between you and success is a minefield of hidden traps that you won’t see until they kill you, sending you back to the start. That’s the base essense of the game, lather, rinse, and repeat. Power-ups that can temporarily help are thrown into the mix but for the most part can’t remove the aggravation of the base experience.


Campaign mode, whether tackled solo or with friends is only that frustrating and generally pointless experience, making it almost impossible to recommend. Competitive mode has a few game variants to offer, which consist of a few different ideas, but none of them really stand out as inspired or terribly fun either. After getting off to a bad start to be honest my family practically groaned as we loaded up each of the modes and nothing was able to elicit any interest in pretty well anyone. Also, while perhaps some people may think the main theme is kind of cute the short loop its on and the voice were like fingernails on a chalkboard pretty quickly for me.


Certainly Hungry Baby has the look of a quirky and fun title, just in terms of its gameplay I’m not quite certain who it is meant to appeal to. Even if you somehow weren’t immediately frustrated by the trial and error nature of play I’m not sure how it would have any replay value whatsoever. Though I applaud there being a local multiplayer game that isn’t another relatively dull and repetitive platform shooter or lackluster kart racer I really can’t see any way to recommend Hungry Baby to anyone outside of much younger children who may just think it’s all cute and funny and are blissfully ignorant of how frustrating it is.

Score: 4.5

Pros:
  • Cute
  • Cheap
  • For smaller children I could see the look and “silliness” being enough to make it fun for them

Cons:
  • For the most part the experience is pure trial, error, and frustration
  • The competitive games offer some variation but none stand out as being very fun
  • The title music is repetitive and madness-inducing