25th Oct2018

Digital Shorts: ‘A Gummy’s Life’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at A Gummy’s Life – a zany party game available now on the Nintendo Switch.

gummy-life

In the vein of bonkers party game Stick Fight and with a touch of the purposefully janky controls of Surgeon Simulator, A Gummy’s Life revels in its zaniness. Clearly meant as a fun party game it serves its purpose well with the inherent goofiness of just being a chewy sweet and battling it out on the back of, say, a moving train ticking the boxes required of the genre whilst also having its own spin and vibe.

A Gummy’s Life gives you the choice of a variety of familiar teeth-rotters brought to life in an anthropomorphic fashion. From the humble cola bottle to a sugary watermelon slice or perhaps a banana chew, up to eight players can join in this epic sugar rush of a battle royale. Each participant has varying stats from speed to strength and durability as well as having a choice of various colours to customise your gummy to a small extent.

The game I have played the most in this genre is easily Stick Fight, a staple of any game nights I hold with more than two people (as is the lesser-known but equally fun Lupinball) and A Gummy’s Life will easily join those ranks as the clever level design really makes the difference here, fighting on the back of a moving toy train is one thing but try having a skirmish on a clock face, avoiding the second hand before the entire face drops away leaving you punching the gelatine out of each other on just a tiny number!

The visuals are solid here; the colourful 3D characters and landscapes really pop out and also have their own sound tracks to mix things up. There’s a fair comparison to be made here to Gangbeasts but as I’ve only played that game as a very early alpha, comparison of the two isn’t really fair. I will say, however that the AI in A Gummy’s Life feels well-designed and I didn’t come across any glitches or bugs, the game play felt robust and always fun. A huge part of the fun factor comes from the ability to, once your opponent is on the ground, pick them up and drag them across the screen in order to bung them off the surface of wherever you happen to be standing, taking them out of play or even throwing them in front of oncoming traffic in what was my favourite level, an homage to the arcade classic, Frogger.

A Gummy’s Life is clearly designed with fun in mind. The basic concept, wacky, yet inventive levels, familiar sweets and various modes (Hot Potato, King of the Hill, Team Deathmatch etc.) add a variety that really extend the longevity. It’s not a game that will stand out in single player mode but really, really shines with multiplayer, especially local, although there is the opportunity to go online. There aren’t too many really fun eight player Switch games so I’m glad I happened across A Gummy’s Life, clearly a title that I will be dipping into for months to come whenever friends are around.

Right, I’m off to throw a bag of Liquorice Allsorts off a cliff.

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