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Petank Party is based on a game I know as bowels, which I used to play on the beach with my dad and little brother. However, the community game failed to bring back those childhood memories, instead inspiring boredom within a matter of minutes.
If you've ever seen or played a game of Boules, or Petanque as I believe it's called somewhere in the world, you'll be instantly at home. Although Boules always strikes me as a boring game for old men, I found it do be fun for a while when playing with my family. However, the electronic version is just as snore worthy as watching Boules being played on the T.V.
First off I decided to play on my own. I was presented with a bizarre range of characters - four ordinary looking humans, a cat, and an alien. I obviously chose the bulbous headed alien and after a short customisation screen I was ready to face my cat nemesis in a fierce battle. However, I disappointingly presented with the painfully slow spectacle that is Petank Party.
After a few rounds of trading blows with the cat, I decided to play a game against my dad.
After a few rounds of trading blows with the cat, I decided to play a game against my dad. This time we both chose to play a human character, and decked them out in the most colourful clothes possible. Ready to go in a bright orange/purple outfit, we played a few rounds on the spaceship level. However, all the differences were purely aesthetic, and in the end the game was much the same. It was fun to play with my dad, but after we played a few rounds (of course, I won all of them), we were both bored and ready to stop playing.
A few things have been done to make the game stand out. Most noticeably are the magic balls. At the start of each round, a magic ball is randomly selected, giving you a power you can imbue one of your balls with. Ranging from some seemingly useless powers, such as one which makes your ball very large, to game breaking ones such as the power which will suck the target ball towards you, effectively winning the game automatically. Although most of the powers add a small semblance of strategy to the game, the ‘target ball sucking towards you' power just wins the game every time.
If you love Boules maybe you'll love this.
One of the things which is very impressive about the game is the amount of polish and professional standard. All of the graphics, menus and gameplay is solid and works all as it is intended. Although the fact that all the elements work isn't exactly the best compliment, it is very solid. However I feel slightly cynical when I think about this, as it seems almost too good to belong in the community games section. It seems to me as though this is professional enough to be placed in the arcade section, rather than the seemingly indie orientated community section.
To be honest, Petank Party may just appeal to someone else. It's a very solid game, and if you love Boules maybe you'll love this. But to me, I just didn't enjoy it at all and I don't think any other teenager will want to buy this game.
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