30-in-1 Game Collection: Volume 1
Release Date: 8 March 2018
Price: $29.99 / £13.49
Reviewed by Pat Lunn
Let’s be honest, there were a lot of people who were dissatisfied with 1-2-Switch. Unfortunately, when a developer - even a great one like Nintendo - commits to packing multiple games into the same space usually reserved a single title, 9 times out of 10 the games come out feeling rushed and with little depth.
But that isn’t always the case, as I found out this week with Mastiff’s 30-in-1 Game Collection: Volume 1 (no points for a catchy title unfortunately). Known as Party Planet in the US (much catchier, lord knows why they changed it), this is a grab-bag of fun minigames all set around a globe-trotting theme, but only in the very loosest sense.
Familiar gameplay turned multiplayer
Whether you’re a rabbit hopping up platforms, a la Doodle Jump, or a warrior monkey firing balls in a chain in the style of Zuma, 30-in-1 Game Collection: Volume 1 has taken a range of well known game types and given them a fresh coat of paint. My favourite example of this approach is a game in the style of Snake that has been adapted for multiplayer, as so many of the games in this collection have. This meant that I was able to get myself and 3 friends playing Snake competitively - which made my inner 10 year old Nokia user jump for joy.
Each game has been polished up to a mirror-shine with smooth animations and catchy in-game sound that’s sure to get you in the mood for arcade action. Everyone I got to play was initially sceptical, for the same reasons I mentioned earlier, yet after a round or two they couldn’t wait to see what the next game had in store. This was further improved by the progression system.
Levelling Up In A Game Collection
I know it feels like RPG elements are being crammed into just about every genre nowadays but I have to say the progression system in 30-in-1 Game Collection: Volume 1 is an inspired idea.
Each game has three tiers of achievement - bronze, silver and gold - and depending on which one you attain, you’ll be rewarded with experience. This experience then goes towards levelling up and with each level up a new game or two will be unlocked.
The great thing about this system is that it means a few more games get added to the roster after a couple of rounds of the other entries, and faster than that a lot of the time. This keeps things fresh and led to me and my friends playing for a lot longer than we have on anything like 1-2-Switch.
The progression system also adds a tangible reward to winning. That being said there are some issues with 30-in-1 Game Collection.
As a mix of party games, the collection gives you a brief overview each one before you start playing. This is normally the various button prompts, and a couple of sentences on how to play the game. It’s on screen very briefly, and we found that at least one of our group missed the chance to read them each time. This led to someone being at a disadvantage straight away and getting annoyed at the game.
Eventually, as we continued, we would graduate from ‘bronze mode’ to ‘silver mode’ and finally to ‘gold mode’. In each game, the change in difficulty varied massively and often the jump from one mode to another seemed like a much larger leap than it had been in the previous game.
Gold mode was the worst for this, as occasionally the collection would just throw in an extra rule to throw us off our stride. This would lead to a lot of shouting at the screen and complaining, but then someone would level up and we would move on to the new games.
It’s hard to be a master of so many types of gameplay when dev time is aimed in 30 different directions, however 30-in-1 Game Collection: Volume 1 is a great example that it can be done well. By trading off on well known game tropes and styles, it offers a multiplayer experience that is sure to keep you and your friends entertained time after time. With the price coming in around the same as a brand-new Blu-ray, it’s a worthy investment if you have a regular games night.
Pros & Cons
+ Great multiplayer action
+ A wide variety of game types
+ Catchy sound design
- Short tutorials
- Last minute changes to the rules
- Some games can feel a little cheap