A Gummy’s Life PS5 Review: Sweet Cliche Title?

Couldn't get enough of Gang Beasts? Try something sweeter with A Gummy's Life PS5 version. But is it any good?

If I’m not going to be straight with you now, what’s the point of a review? Sure it’s an opinion, and while I err on niceties, I’d like my integrity to remain intact: I didn’t like A Gummy’s Life on the PS5 at first.

A bit of exposition here: I also didn’t like Gang Beasts either, but after having it drilled into me – that is ‘are you going to be perpetually beaten by your kids and those online?’, I got better, and it’s one of my go-to multiplayers.

A Gummy’s Life PS5 Review

There’s no storyline here, A Gummy’s Life is a bona fide party game of tomfoolery – there’s no time to learn that the egg was a cobbler’s son or the watermelon has a pilot’s licence. The gist of this game is a fight-to-the-death scenario in some rather clever arenas.

A Gummy's Life PS5 Review - Sweet tooth. On the floor
Sweet tooth. On the floor. Source: Steam

Besides a practice option, you have the core game and a shop to dress your gummy in accessories. The first alarm bell here is that to unlock these goodies, you can only do so in online mode. On the one hand, you can’t spam a ghost two-player and fast track a bling wardrobe, but that does mean you’re forced to play online if you want the extras. 

Accessories are locked to online play, but one of A Gummy’s Life highlights is that you get all the characters and arenas from the outset. With 19 different stages, you can toggle on and off your preferred arenas, select the number of bots (if applicable), and select several game modes. The default free-for-all is a no-nonsense quick starter, but some other modes are pretty good fun.

Gummy Beasts

The goal is to physically knock out the other players or go for a ring out by picking them up and dropping them. Continually hitting them will leave a puddle of sticky residue on the floor, or they’ll eventually explode in a confetti of sugar goodness after a pummelling. Some levels also allow for insta-kills by manipulating some of the objects.

A Gummy’s Life IS like Gang Beasts in that the HUD is minimal. This is fine for the latter as you don’t need to see your health, but because there’s the risk of being KO’d in this game, it’d be good to see a gauge above the players so you have a clue on when you might cop it.

Comparing the two again, the layout is practically the same with two independent punch buttons, picking up an item or character, kick, headbutt, jump and taunts. Holding the punch buttons will grab whatever is nearby, and needed for when you want a ring out.

Fiendish Level Designs

A Gummy's Life PS5 Review - Clock is ticking
Clock is ticking. Source: Steam

The movement here is way better than Gang Beasts. It’s predictable, you have complete control when moving, and the attacks are reasonably accurate – especially if you hold on and repeatedly punch them. However, going for a ring out is random and would often result in a dual ring out.

The accuracy and consistency of A Gummy’s Life PS5 should therefore outweigh its closest competitor, but there’s something about the gameplay that feels somewhat scatty. Sure, that’s the theme of the game, but the unpredictability can also spoil the fun. But at least the levels are good.

Not knowing their tricks the first time around can be infuriating. Turning that into a positive, you can use this to your advantage against other players unfamiliar with the stages and watch as they get knocked off a clock face or splattered by piano hammers. A definite highlight.

The Sweet Spot?

What I didn’t like (aside from having to play online to unlock the accessories) were the AI and the camera distance. AI, irrespective of the difficulty, could knock you out much easier than you could with them. Go on the offensive, and they would frequently run away in a circle again and again. 

A Gummy's Life - Brawl
Brawl! Source: PR

As for the camera, the characters look small on-screen. It’s a shame as the character modelling is very good with some excellent designs. Considering the PS5’s power, I’d like to have been closer to the action as it wasn’t always clear what was going on – even on a 55inch telly.

The point of A Gummy’s Life, by EP Games, is entertainment with a group of friends or playing online, if that’s your bag. There are a few modes: free-for-all, team deathmatch, a king of the hill option where you have to catch five marshmallows, and the best one – hot potato. In this mode, you tag another player before the countdown drops, and you explode.

The Sweet Spot?

Playing with my kids, which was the goal in the first place, was much more rewarding. The controls are simple enough, and for some reason, my youngest had better, consistent results than the four of us. From the kids’ perspective, it was fun to rough house each other without being told off, but it wasn’t long until they genuinely asked to play Gang Beasts.

Unfortunately, sharing so many similarities, it’s bound to happen where they’ll be compared, and we all have our favourites. While A Gummy’s Life has much more control and arguably better level design, Gang Beasts is still the go-to. Perhaps it’s the physics element, or maybe comedic value? It’s amusing to see a gummy explode, but it’s all a bit hectic and feels like button mashing in the end.

A Gummy's Life out later this year
Source: PR

My initial impression did change, but I’m afraid the chances of this getting ‘airplay’ will entirely depend on my kids asking to play it rather than me actively wanting to go online and unlock all the cosmetic elements. But we will come back to it, and if that opinion changes, will happily update this review.

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