Growing up, I used to love watching Takeshi’s Castle. It was more than a game show, it was a window into the other side of the world. I’d watch hundreds and hundreds of entrants be whittled down and almost always eliminated. Monster Couch’s “Tetsumo Party” looks to tug on similar heartstrings, but unfortunately just disappoints on almost every level.
While the bright colour palette of Tetsumo Party may bring to mind Takeshi’s Castle, it’s actual gameplay has more in common with Brain Wall, a Japanese game show that was rebranded as Hole In The Wall in other territories. Players must twist and contort their Sumo inspired avatar to navigate the hole in the wall, and that’s about the sum of Tetsumo Party’s premise.
Clearing walls awards stars, while being hit by a wall will give you a close up view of your character’s rear-end. It’s childish, but it’s certainly in keeping with the over the top nature of many game shows, although having to pull up your Sumo’s underwear every now and again via a mini-game feels gratuitous.
There are pick-ups, such as the ability to slow down the approaching wall, and various costumes are there to be unlocked but there really is very little to bring you back outside of multiplayer.
Multiplayer is great for a tipsy night in, but even then is unlikely to hold a group’s attention for more than a few tries. The lack of any real on-boarding can make it tough for new players to grasp the controls from the off as well.
Thankfully, as walls get more and more complex the game’s background artwork gets more interesting to look at. Pastel shades really pop on a big TV, and the use of block colours gives the environments plenty of detail without relying on black outlines.
Less pretty, however, is the game’s depiction of it’s characters. Their blocky, almost Final Fantasy VII inspired limbs fit the game’s design well, but their voice is full of disappointing stereotypes and cliches. What’s worse is that you’ll hear the same line from your characters on a loop.
In a world where there are so many exciting indie titles being released seemingly every week, it’s tough to recommend Tetsumo Party. It feels like a mini-game at best, something made for a flash browser at worst. We’d recommend you let this wall pass straight by.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.