Muppets Party Cruise Review

The elevator keeps dropping down. Instead of booking first class, the reservations were for first deck – can you say ‘boiler room?’

As the Muppets begin to trek through the steam, one of them says: “If this is the first class, I’d hate to see the last one.”

Solid Muppet humor – predictable, cute and charming. Unfortunately, Jim Henson’s Muppets Party Cruise mires down in mundane arcade action. Yes, this may be a title that is suitable for the family, but be prepared for a button-mashing fest inhibited – in some games – by poor camera angles.

TDK Mediactive is the company behind this title and while the game gives players 30 mini-games to choose from, you will have to unlock some of those to experience the overall variety of the game.

Players can assume the identity of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Animal, Fozzie, Gonzo or Pepe, but a full array of other familiar characters will make their appearances throughout the game. The game features two options for play: the short cruise (jump right into the mini-games) or the long cruise, which plays out like a board game.

There are approximately 30 mini-games to play, which feature variations on popular games like shuffleboard, asteroids (this one will have to be unlocked), bingo and a whack-a-mole wannabe which employs both the hotkeys and direction pad.

The long cruise is the board game and begins on deck one. There are five decks but the others will need to be unlocked. You can unlock the other decks by stepping out on the main deck and finding party favors and opening up new mini-games.

The board game has some interesting quirks, such as the hypno-disk, which allows you to take over another player’s turn, and the ATM machine – ok, this parallels real life in that it is an automated trouble machine.

While some of the humor speaks right to the style of the game and the Muppet legacy, some of it does seem a little forced.

The graphical quality of the game is a mixed bag. On some of the mini-games, the camera angle is well positioned, and you will see all the action. But some of the games have reduced the field of view and you will have trouble seeing the action and adequately controlling your character.

The sound of this game takes some big blows right from the start. That is not Kermit’s voice. For about 30 years through television, song and movies, the voice of the frog has been ingrained on the brain. Even when Jim Henson passed away, the voice lived on with someone who could keep it going strong. The voice of Kermit in Party Cruise is off, noticeably so. The musical score can get annoying after a while.

Muppets Party Cruise may be a good title for the family that wants to sit down and do something together, especially if there are younger (read under the age of 9) children. This is not a game, though, for those who really want to immerse themselves in the Muppet culture. It does have its moments that allow for sly laughter, and smirks, but overall, this title founders in shallow water.

This game is rated for Everyone.

Reviewer’s Scoring Details

Gameplay: 7

The games are button-mashing exercises, for the most part, but from the launch of each cruise games, until the final scoring tally, the events move smoothly.

 Graphics: 6.5

The perspectives are a little muddled and can make for more difficulty than is necessary, especially for younger players. The three-dimensional look does hold nicely though.

 Sound: 5.7

Kermit doesn’t sound like the classic Kermit. The rest of the voices are passable, but when the frog if off, it tends to ruin the rest of the experience. The rest of the soundtrack is in the average to low-average range.

 Difficulty: Easy

This is a button mashers paradise.

Concept: 7

This is a bevy of games feature Muppets as the players. The title also features a huge array of games that would suit an entire family of players.

Multiplayer: 7

This game will allow up to four players to compete in the games, and players are scored against each other.

 Overall: 6.2

The bevy of titles in this program is huge and will offer something for families to play together. As a single-person game, this title is mildly entertaining. The graphics are average, but the game suffers some setbacks when it comes to the voices of some of the characters. It boils down to this: for three decades pop culture has ingrained the voices of these central characters into our lives and to have them not sounding like expected is a disappointment.