When a game has a title like Chompy Chomp Chomp Party and comes from a publisher called Utopian World of Sandwiches it is pretty hard to ignore, although with a promise of support for up to nine players locally and some truly crazy looking gameplay footage, this was never a title to be overlooked anyway.
Unsurprisingly, Chompy Chomp Chomp Party has all the makings of a party game – simple menu layouts, a short 'How to Play' section and a sense of the game wanting you to just jump in and have a go are all present here. The host of controllers that are supported also shows that it was designed to get everyone involved – the GamePad, Wii Remotes, Pro Controllers, Classic Controllers and Nunchuks can all be used, with only one controller needed per person. By this we mean that by connecting a Nunchuk to a Wii Remote for example, you can include another two players – one can use the Remote whilst the other uses the Nunchuk. Finally you can wipe all of that Wii Sports flavoured dust off all of those extra peripherals you've buried at the back of your DVD cabinet.
There are three modes to choose from, each offering a different take on the core gameplay idea. The most basic mode is Chase & Chomp, in which the idea is simply to chomp your opponents with points being given for a successful chomp and points being taken away for being on the receiving end. Each player has a different coloured Chompy and as the game starts a different coloured circle will appear below your character. This colour indicates the colour Chompy that you need to hunt down – which also means of course that someone else's Chompy will have your colour beneath them. You will need to be on the lookout for your target Chompy to gain points, whilst also keeping an eye out for the player who is currently hunting you. Every now and then throughout the game the colours will switch, meaning you need to keep extremely focused.
The second mode on offer is called Keep The Thing. Here, players need to grab 'The Thing' – basically a sparkly light – and keep hold of it for as long as possible. The more time you hold The Thing, the more your points tally will grow. This means that the setup is quite different, as every Chompy will be chasing after the one holding The Thing – often leading to moments where tactics start to become essential, such as trapping the winning Chompy into a corner.
Finally, we have Zone Dash which has a similar setup to Keep The Thing. Players must initially dash to a glowing zone on the map. The Chompy that gets there first will then see two more zones appear on the map in their colour – they will need to run from one zone to the other, back and forth to collect points. The catch of course is that they can't be chomped along the way, meaning that this kind of acts like a never ending game of tig where your base keeps changing sides. The other players must chomp the current player to take over as the point scoring Chompy, changing the colours of the base to their own.
To mix things up a bit, every mode can be littered with items that can cause absolute mayhem – in the menu before starting a game there is an option to specify just how frantic you want the items to be. The first item, fruit, is your friend. By picking up fruit you can start a multiplier which will grow each time you run through another piece on the map. If you are the Chompy who is currently running around scoring all of the points and you manage to grab a few pieces of fruit along the way, your score will soon start to soar.
Other items act as power ups, or in the case of the 'purple bottle of doom' as this writer likes to call it, power downs. When you obtain a power up the coloured circle around your feet will change shape becoming spiky around the edges, letting you know your power is ready to use. This is done by pressing the action button on your chosen controller – the 'A' button on the GamePad for example. The effects of these items vary massively, from speeding up your Chompy for a short amount of time, allowing you to teleport to another area of the map, or in some cases even confusing your Chompy and making your controls become inverted. In the madness of a full nine player game it is incredibly difficult to keep an eye on which power ups you have collected, meaning sometimes you might activate your item only to realise you had actually picked up something bad, adding even more chaos.
This chaos is the life and soul of the game however – it can be played alone with 'Compy Chompys' filling in the space of the other players, but having a room full of friends shouting and screaming and lovingly hating each other for the duration of the game is where the most fun comes from. The different modes, along with different stages, difficulty settings and a customisable item selection means that you can mix things up enough to keep things feeling fun.
Sometimes you want to go on a journey to vast, fantasy worlds, sometimes you want to fight your way through hordes of terrifying enemies and sometimes you want to just sit down with some friends and laugh for hours. Chompy Chomp Chomp Party can only offer you one of these – the latter of course – but it does a great job of it. The addition of one or two more modes would have helped to make this game even better – eventually you will start to feel like you've had enough and move on to doing something else – but there's a lot of fun that can be had in the modes that already exist.
Grab some friends, grab some controllers and give this colourful, chompy craziness a try.