Animal Rivals is a local party game for up to four players. The game has a small variety of minigames which task the players to compete against one another for the top prize, bragging rights in the covenant first place spot. Its chaotic fun with glaring issues but full of potential.
Release date: TBD 2017
Approximate Size: 3.43 GB
Genre: Party Game
Developed by Blue Sunset Games
Published by Blue Sunset Games Via Xbox Creators Program
Party Game Modes
This mode exactly what the title suggests, you and up to four players (or A.I. players if you’re playing solo) battle to collect your corresponding item while preventing other players from getting theirs. The goal is to get as many as possible within the time limit before everyone else. There is some variety in this collecting mode. One map might have you carrying boxes with a symbol on it or another may have you grabbing and carrying your respective fruit to a table. These are nice concepts and offer some variety in this unique (for lack of a better word) game.
The goal of this mode is for you and up to four other players to race across the map and to see who can reach the finish line first. Along the way the maps have obstacles and negative power ups to keep you from achieving the prestigious first place and there is a power up that gives you an advantage. It’s a nice mode and brings out the competitive spirit as you and your local players gleefully argue about besting one another. This is one of the more enjoyable game modes and the one I personally enjoyed most.
In this mode two cannons on opposite sides of the maps shoots cannonballs and the objective of the game is to jump in the air and grab as many cannonballs as possible within the time limit. That is everyone’s objective and what results is every player launching themselves in the air to get those cannonballs. It’s simple and plays rather quickly. Its enjoyable and the younger members in my family lost a rather large chunk of time in this mode. Seeing my sister smile as she played this mode shows exactly who the audience of this game should be.
The objective is to destroy (as the title suggests) your colored box while everyone else does the same. To prevent others from getting points, you can destroy their colored box. There is a subtle feeling of satisfaction as you jump over a spinning laser beam while hitting your colored box and those of your enemies so that they cannot succeed in being number one. It’s an interesting concept but somewhat similar to the collector mode, in fact I thought it was played through selecting that mode.
In this mode, depending on how many human players are here, you battle against a minimum of five in a fight. It’s a simplistic fight and requires literally no skills. All you have to do is grab a box and hit the other players until their life bar is depleted. Some characters can kick and others can slap, there are also some power ups increase speed and after being hit your character does get stunned. The objective is to be the last one standing to be king. Before a match starts up there is some character backstory that you can read and that is a nice addition.
In an era where games offer in game tutorials where you play through a series of objectives, or some offer video tutorials, this one offers frustrating images that only confuse the player rather than educate them. What it is, is a series of images that one would usually find in old manuals that used to come in physical game boxes. It is what it is but a more detailed explanation would have been preferred.
Tournament Mode/ Quick Match
You and your group of friends play through a selection of the game modes mentioned above from four, to six, to eight, and to ten rounds. The modes are random and it would have been nice to allow the players to choose which modes would be played in what order. This is the ideal mode if you plan on spending a lot of time in a single session with the game and with a group of people. Something I found odd in this mode is that it doesn’t announce a winner at the end of the final round but instead after each round. It sort of ruins the whole concept of it being a tournament/olympic like event.
Quick match is exactly what you expect it to be. It launches you and your group of players into a random game mode for a single round. This is what is ideal for someone who wants to play for a few minutes before moving on to something else. For example, quick match proved great as I installed Bulletstorm onto my Xbox One.
Animal Rivals is perfect for small kids who know nothing about input lag, framerate issues, glitches, and bricking consoles. This game needs a lot more time in development to iron out the plethora of issues that plague it. The characters are floaty, the button lag is very noticeable, there is no online mode, local players are sometimes detected, there are glitches, and there are heavy performance issues. It’s bad. With all of that being said, at its core the concepts are good. The goal of this game is to be a local party game and with some more time it can achieve that pretty well because when everything works, it’s a blast to play. If the developers can address these issues, I am more than willing to give this another shot and I would be lying if I said this game would never be touched again. Yes, the character models are not the prettiest, nor is the game in its entirety, but they are interesting. They are all unique and the game has unlockable costumes and colors that give them character and personality. The potential is there, they just simply need more time to hone the game’s craft.