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Nintendo Switch Game Review

Disney Tsum Tsum Festival


Format: Nintendo Switch
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Age Restrictions: 3+
Release Date: 08 November 2019

With Christmas just around the corner the little ones will be casting their beady eyes over numerous shiny objects. The new Switch Lite was released this year (2019) and may look like a cheaper alternative to buying the kids a full fat Switch, you may well want to think twice before you buy one.

Review imageDisney Tsum Tsum Festival is a collection of mini games aimed squarely at the younger market, the sort of person who might own a Switch Lite, the two seem almost made for each other. The fact is, that the game will not natively run on the Lite because the game refuses to recognise the handheld's controllers. Nor can you engage in the online competitions without paying a monthly subscription to Nintendo to get online access.

There is a work around for the controller, but only if you have a joypad from the full fat Switch. None of these problems exist if you're installing it on the original Switch. If you have one or more Joypads, then you can pair this with the Lite to gain access to the games. The game will play in either tabletop/TV mode or in handheld mode.

Before you start the game, you can choose from several Disney/Pixar Tsum. What is a Tsum? It’s a stackable plush toy, So, Tsum Tsum translates as stack stack. You are never stuck with your first choice of character, as it can be changed at any time. You also get access to more as you work your way through the games.

Review imageThere are twelve games in all, only one of which works in handheld mode. 'Tsum Tsum Puzzle' is the same game, which is free to download for your phone, thankfully they have removed the need to pay real money for progress. Your screen fills with Tsum and you need to use the touch screen to join three or more to remove them from the stack.

That done, I paired a joypad to see why the game needs this. Obviously, it means you can add more players, but that will be quite cramped on a handheld console, including the original Switch.

'Treasure Tsum' has you shooting coins to build a high score. The game, like so many others, had nothing obvious which could not have been implemented on a handheld mode. This held true for 'Tsum Rhythm', a game which has you pushing a button in time with the music, like Guitar Hero. There are six songs to choose from, all mawkishly jolly as is the whole of the game’s audio track. It was quite a hard and unforgiving game, with two modes Vs and Cooperative. Your concentration is glued to the falling faces to the point where your never personally going to see the dance unless someone else is playing.

Review image'Tsum Tsum Mania' is a basic shooting game, 'Tsum Chase' is a Pacman clone, 'Tsum Curling' is, well, a curling game. 'Egg Pack Coaster' is a rather fun roller coaster sim. 'Spinner Battle' has you sitting on a spinning top trying to bat your opponents. As you zoom around treasure drops into the area which gives various power-ups. The whole thing is played on the deck of a brightly coloured pirate ship.

'Bubble Hockey' is a pretty fun air hockey sim and 'Round ‘n’ Round' is a scrolling race game with platforming elements. There is a small problem in that if you get too far ahead of the competition you can disappear off the screen and must wait until the scrolling track catches up to you. Lastly, we have the very forgiving 'Ice Cream Stacker', where you must stack more precariously balanced Tsum’s than your opponent.

Review imageIf you’re not online then all the games allow you to add AI players. The AI was pretty good and there is no guarantee that you will win. All games offer a few different game modes.

The whole thing continues Nintendo’s idea of cooperative family games, which began with the Wii, indeed it does feel like a Wii game, with the extension to play against human gamers online. How long this element survives will depend on how long gamers will support it.

It is a lot of fun playing against family members and online, but I remain confused as to why it does not work in handheld mode without the addition of an expensive extra Switch Joypad.


Charles Packer

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