Published by Sony Computer
Developed by Supermassive Games
Start the Party! Save the World is the follow up game to Start the Party which was one of the first games (and it’s a game I have to confess I haven’t played) to make use of the PlayStation Move controller. Like its predecessor, Start the Party! Save the World is a mini-game collection that caters for up to four players. Save the World has some interesting ideas but on the whole the game is disappointing and at best, only has short-term appeal.
The modes on offer in Save the World are dependent on whether you’re playing as a group or solo. If there are two or more of you, you’ll want to select the group option and here you’ll have the Party and Quick Fire modes open to you. Party mode offers you a choice of playing a short, medium or long game with the difference being the number of mini-games you’ll take part in. Players take their turns individually with the winner of a mini-game being the one who has scored the most points. Quick Fire is a mode that switches quickly between three different mini-games per round. A Quick Fire game is played out over three rounds with the winner being the one who wins the most rounds. If you’re playing solo, you’ll have the option of playing Survivor, where you’ll play a succession of games and attempt to keep scoring points, and Free Play, where you’ll pick a mini-game and try to set a good score. Neither of these modes offers anything other than a way of passing a few minutes.
The mini-games are a mix of good, bad and mostly mediocre. All of them are extremely simplistic and should be absolutely fine for most members of the family. The games are slightly humorous, at least to begin with, but the novelty soon wears thin and you soon see them for how simplistic and repetitive they are. The mini-games will have you controlling a helicopter attempting to rescue survivors from skyscraper rooftops, bashing bears with mallets, zapping aliens and rescuing deep sea divers. There are a decent amount of mini-games here but some are simply variants of others so the whilst the number of games is good, the variety to be found here is another matter entirely.
Rather than make use of multiple PlayStation Move controllers, the game uses only one with each player taking turns at the mini-games. Some may see this as a source of annoyance and a way to make playing the games take longer; however I personally see it as a plus point. Given the price of a PlayStation Move controller I don’t think many households will actually own more than one so it’s pleasing that up to four players can participate with just a single controller. A standard DualShock controller can also be used by a second player to assist in the mini-games but it’s far from being an exciting addition.
Save the World’s presentation is what you would expect from a mini-game collection. Graphically the game has a colourful but simplistic look. The visuals might not be highly detailed but everything remains pleasant to look at and easy on the eyes. Support for deaf gamers is a bit of a mixed bag with the announcer's comments not being subtitled. When playing a multiplayer game you’ll have to say your name and this recording is then spoken when you take your turn (you can clap your hands). Needless to say this is a useless feature for anyone other than the hearing and there should have been an option to disable it. You are made aware of any time limits and when playing the Party mode you will find text tutorial messages (although strangely they aren’t displayed in other modes).
There are a variety of mini-games available for the PlayStation 3 and given the choice of superior titles on offer, it’s tough to recommend Start the Party! Save the World. As a mini-game collection it’s so basic in many respects. As a single-player experience it’s not even mildly entertaining. Played with friends the experience is decent without ever becoming memorable. Even at the low price of under £15 it’s tough to recommend over one of the better mini-game collections out there. Had this been an in-the-box extra with the Move controller it would have been easy to forgive its shortcomings but as a standalone product Save the Party! Save the World falls disappointingly short.