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Review: Start The Party (Move)

Let's get this one started.

Start The Party, whilst not the strongest of the Move’s launch line-up, is a game you’ll almost certainly want to at least experience, if not necessarily own.  Playing out like an extended set of augmented reality tech demos, Start The Party offers up a nicely rounded array of mini-games designed to show off not only the ridiculous accuracy and flexibility of the Move controller but also make you feel like a child again, incorporating huge amounts of hapless, endearing fun into every possible second of gameplay.

There’s two main ways to play Start The Party, with a friend over a set number of rounds or by yourself as you tackle each minigame individually – both alternatives offer up the same principles, but the points-based competitive mode allows you to battle against your opponent’s scores for each round in order to win stars.  Every so often there’ll be an interlude or a bonus round which will see you defacing your friend’s avatar photo, or changing their recorded sound effect, a neat diversion and another way to show off some Move magic.

A couple of the minigames are a real delight, and the best ones are the simplest: projecting an image of yourself on the screen might recall some Eyetoy nightmares but the way the Move controller becomes whatever the particular game wants it to be (a paintbrush, a fan, a swatter, a bubble burster) is not only clever but essential to the implementation of each game.  They’re so basic but yet so fundamentally obvious that you don’t need instructions, just a direction and a reminder is enough for most of them.

So, look out for Spooky Shootout, which involves you using the Move as a torch as you look around your own darkened room for ghosts (pressing the trigger to shoot them and hiding the controller behind your back when the red one passes by).  Keep an eye out also for Picture This, which transforms the Move into a paintbrush as you delicately try to make rude shapes from the ovals and squares provided in order to liven up the eventual reveal of whatever it is you’re meant to be piecing together with primary colours.

Cut and Colour is delicious, too – as hairy, slightly odd looking chaps are wheeled into view with a pre-determined haircut requirement at the top of the screen.  Your job, and you’ll need to be quick, is to cut their hair using electric clippers and then dye them as per their wants.  It’s a scream, especially when the speed hots up and your buddies scores are scrolling into view.  However, there’s a few stinkers, seemingly only there to boost the tally of games on the back of the box to something resembling the industry norm for genre staples like you’ll find on the Wii.

The biggest problem, though, is that Start The Party is only really a single player title.  Sure, there’s a pass-the-Move ‘multiplayer’ mode but it’s strictly one at a time and it’s hard to imagine any other reason than time why the technology couldn’t track two players at once, which would have transformed what is a disappointingly solitary blast of fun into something essential for new Move owners.  Don’t misunderstand, Start The Party is fun for a limited time, and a real giggle with the right group of mates when showing off the Move, but a two player simultaneous mode would have been wonderful.


  • Great fun with a few friends
  • Some of the games are utterly brilliant


  • Not so much fun on your own
  • Some games are a little bit dull
  • There’s not an enormous amount to it

Start The Party is Sony’s evolution of pretty much everything that came before on the Eyetoy, wrapped up into a gloriously colourful bubble of fun that can’t fail to raise a smile.  It’s not going to change the world and the fact that it’s one player at once is a real shame, but it’s highly likely to get the grandparents giggling like kids, and, to be honest, when you’re buying a game like Start The Party, that’s all you can ask for.  Just don’t expect it to last very long.

Score: 6/10

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  1. spats
    Since: Dec 2009

    Would’ve been nothing for a tech demo for me anyway. Still, I’m sure there’s a market for this game.

    Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 09:01.
  2. Porcupine_I
    Since: Aug 2009

    it’s casual, it’s got a mediocre score…

    if it was on the Wii, that would equal million sales :D

    Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 09:08.
    • cc_star
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Forever

      Not without a proper Wii like experience of proper multi-player it wouldn’t

      Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 09:16.
  3. cc_star
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Forever

    Shame they couldn’t add proper multiplayer.

    If they want attract potential Wii upgraders then they need to remember to replicate the experience and fun of co-op/competitive play first and foremost and then worry about the HD bells & whistles once the experience is set in stone.

    Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 09:19.
  4. ghost5
    Since: Oct 2008

    I read the reason this game is turned based is because with it being a launch title they didn’t want to make people have to go out and buy 4 controllers to get the most out of the game as most people would be put off by this and not bother. Instead by using one controller you are getting full enjoyment out of the game, not mission out on anything and it is cheap enough that anyone can buy it

    Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 09:26.
    • ghost5
      Since: Oct 2008

      not *missing* out on anything and it *works out* cheap enough that anyone can buy it

      Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 09:29.
    • scavenga
      Since: Jul 2009

      Yup, that’s the approach. I like that. There’ll be plenty of other minigame-based multiplayer titles along soon enough.

      And I can’t wait to go pick up my Move starter pack + extra controller today! :D:D:D

      Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 09:30.
    • Klart
      Since: Jun 2010

      You’re right, but they could’ve done both, no?

      Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 10:18.
    • lokiy2j
      Since: Sep 2010

      If this is true or not, it makes alot of sense, my daughter loves the eyepet but this will get her into the move and “hopefully” into gaming (she’s only 4) the fact that if I wasn’t a massive geek and had 2 wands + a navi control on pre order then I could make do with 1 wand and have the same awesome experience!

      Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 12:59.
      • JimmyNice
        Since: Jul 2010

        put the controllers in their hands… they’ll shock you. My Daughters are 3 (almost 4) & 6 and they take games down. They have beaten all the worlds in Little Big Planet on 2 player except the Collectors Lair and they are working through those now. I restrict how much they can play each day, but I’m blown away by how quickly they catch on.

        Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 13:13.
  5. 3shirts
    Since: Aug 2008

    I just had notification from ShopTo that mine dispatched today, woop!

    Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 09:51.
  6. aphex187
    Since: Mar 2010

    Putting the ‘adult’ review aside would you say this would be great for my 4 and 6 year lads?

    Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 09:52.
    • Kovacs
      Since: Dec 2009

      I’ve played it. And, yes, your kids would definitely enjoy it in my opinion. It’s a solid children’s game and something they should get a real kick out of.

      Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 10:08.
      • aphex187
        Since: Mar 2010

        Playing the demo and the wife and i love it! bollx to the kids!! haha thx for the reply Kov ;)

        Comment posted on 16/09/2010 at 12:35.
  7. Topov81
    Since: Sep 2008

    Sounds perfect for my kids so glad i’ve got it pre-ordered.

    Can anyone confirm if there’s ANY support in the game for a 2nd motion controller or nav?

    Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 10:38.
  8. Aitrus
    Since: Sep 2008

    I’m planning on picking up 2 Moves and a game later today. I’m still a bit undecided about the game though as I’m a bit torn between this and Sports Champions.

    I have Eyepet and Heavy Rain allready and just waiting for the patches – so I have something for the kids and something for me :) The new game should be something for the whole family and Start the party looks like it would appeal more to the kids but I don’t know if it would keep me interested for long. On the other hand Sports Champions might be too hard for the kids. Any suggestions?

    Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 10:45.
  9. Origami Killer
    Since: May 2010

    my move has been dispacthed, wasnt there an article reving about this game a few weeks back but 6 is still a pretty good score, howver i will be going for sports champions

    Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 14:07.
  10. MXZ
    Since: Jul 2010

    This game looks like simple fun, and i have no problem with that :)

    i will get this and play it untill ive mastered every game of it.

    Comment posted on 15/09/2010 at 14:15.

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