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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Lunch-A-Palooza Review

Reviewed by Chris Pattison 

Over the past few months, there have been a lot of easy to pick up, hard to master games that have either been released or come to public notice due to the Lockdown’s we have all been experiencing recently. One of these such games, looking to join the likes of Among Us, and Fall Guys in the annals of 2020 gaming history is called Lunch-A-Palooza; here’s what I thought.

Starting off quite brightly the designs and backgrounds have a great look to them, with a very vibrant colour scheme and a cartoony feel that lets you know straight away this isn’t a serious game you’ll be playing.

The whole game is set on different food characters willing to battle in different culinary settings, all for our pleasure. You have characters such as the Corn on the Cob, the Jelly or the Burger, all of them topped off with facial features to give them that feel of an actual character rather than an inanimate object, who will then run around landscapes based on things such as your Kitchen worktop or a picnic table trying to force their opponents to fall off.

Split into 4 separate types of play, with the standard deathmatch, a free for all, king of the hill and one where every time you die you resurrect as a different character,  the variety of modes is clearly there, and with a bit of tweaking would really help with the longevity of the game.

The multiplayer is where the real fun appears to be, however there is no online matchmaking, just local play, which whilst good requires everyone to be in the same room, with their consoles, and in all honesty, this reviewer only got to experience that a couple of times before Lockdown again leaving the bulk of my play to be single-player, and whilst the games AI puts up a good fight, it’s no match for getting your mates together and launching them off the table.

The gameplay itself is where I feel a game can stand up or be let down, and unfortunately, in the case of Lunch-A-Palooza, it is fun, to a point but is let down somewhat.

When playing, each character has their own attacks that can be accessed by either a quick tap of a button, or holding down the button for something a bit stronger. There’s also regular power-ups dropped around the gameplay area which can bulk up your characters attacks immensely. This isn’t a traditional fighter where you have to drain your opponents of energy to beat them, all you have to do is knock them off the table to earn points, and once the timer goes to zero, whomever has the most points wins.

Sadly, however this all feels more a game of luck rather than skill, although each character has their own move-sets specially tailored to them, you never really get a feel of if you’re playing well or not, and each match ends up being a bit of a button-bash hoping you’ll be able to take out your edible enemies whilst never being sure if that’s a possibility or not. The gameplay itself is not helped in the slightest by the way the cameras show the action, many a time you’ll be hopping around a table and not realise that you can’t move because you’re stuck behind a piece of cutlery that you just don’t see, and with 3 other characters hopping around what can only be described as a confined space, its all too often that you can find yourself being knocked off the table without even knowing what happened.

In a bid to increase playability and what seems to be the standard fare in modern day video games, is a variety of different unlocks you can obtain through playing, from different characters to alternative costumes, though they seem to be held behind a heavy grind that would take a long time to earn. As much as I understand why they are there, sadly the will to get these just wasn’t there for me.

Overall the game has a good idea behind it, with some promising aspects but it just doesn’t play out the way I think the developers were hoping, and just leaves you wanting a bit more variety. Granted games like Among us are pretty simple with onl 3 maps but they are customisable without the grind and don’t seem to fall foul of the issues I mentioned earlier within this game.  Unfortunately, it just doesn’t feel fun, and at times is more of a chore than anything else.

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