One of those novelty party games, Lunch-A-Palooza is a battle royale of up to four players battling it out in a literal food fight. Is this going to be a sirloin dish or a side of Spam? Let’s go with the assumption that Spam is repugnant.
That was an early introduction, with the YouTube-esque opener ‘let’s find out…’ but I don’t have that much to say about the game already, and I’ve not written the first heading. Is it that bad? Well, it is pretty forgettable, and it pains me to say that as I’m not too fond of negative reviews, but such is life.
Void of a story – it’s not necessary as it’s a party game – you can play with up to three other players to either battle it out as a free-for-all or get together and fight a common enemy; your nan, next-door neighbour, or whoever you’re ‘legally’ allowed in your home.
Lunch-A-Palooza Switch Review
We needn’t pad out this Lunch-A-Palooza review with food puns as the game caters for that (that one was unintentional). Thankfully, Seashell Studio doesn’t overdo it, and it’s not a cringefest either, considering it is a ticking timebomb for dad jokes.
There are four modes to duke it out in, and they’re a typical setup of last man standing, staying in one spot for longer than the others, team shenanigans and another mode which I’ve forgotten. Basically, it’s a local party piece.
You start with four playable characters with the option to unlock a further four. There is corn, a meatball, jelly and a burger. It took me a while to work out what the meatball was as it looks like crap rolled into a ball. The only way I found out was the numerous ‘skins’ you unlock, which is essentially a different colour.
The same is with the levels – there are three to begin with and through repetition, you unlock some new locations – the first being a haunted mansion where you occupy a table with ghosts and a surface that deteriorates leaving a gaping hole to fall down.
An Unbalanced Diet
Each character is quite different from one another. Most of them have a ranged attack, and some are better than others with their attacks, but there’s nothing else to look out for such as stats to improve like how fast it moves or how many hits it can take.
In fact, you’re at a pretty unfair advantage as I played this mostly as a three-player with my kids, and whoever had the jelly would win almost all the time by spamming the buttons. You have a basic attack and a jump option, which is there for spamming (pun?), plus you can grab items to use against your opponents.
The grabbing side of things is a free-for-all as you can grab household objects and swing them around you in a circle, knocking over everything in sight. The caveat is you have to be near someone in the first place. But as the goal is to more or less get ‘ring outs’, if you can pick up an object while near another player, chances are you’ll knock them off the screen.
There was no real strategy I noticed in Lunch-A-Palooza, just a madcap free-for-all. This might appeal to a younger audience then because of the simple controls, but my eldest got bored after the half a dozen rounds in a row, while the youngest continually walked off the edge of each arena, not getting it.
The idea for Lunch-A-Palooza is a feasible one for a party game, but as a free-for-all food fight, it just doesn’t work. Each character is ugly, and the only way of giving them a personality is by applying those craft-like googly eyes.
But worst of all, the animation and frame rates were pretty poor. It’s not something I notice much – especially if I’m enjoying myself, but the action was continually stuttering. On the haunted level, the lights go out, and all you can see are the characters and some of the surface. Here the animation was super smooth and was the best experience, but it’s only when all the effects are off.
It’s not that the visuals are so demanding either. The 3D modelling of the arenas and moveable objects are well made, but they don’t always work with gameplay, and in the end, Lunch-A-Palooza feels like a cluttered mess.
I’m always reluctant to sound so negative when I’m sure the team worked very hard on it, but I have to maintain my integrity, and if asked if I would recommend this, it would undoubtedly be a no. As a saving grace, I’d like to say my kids loved it, but it was so short-lived for them, they wanted to play something else.
A food fight for four players, Lunch-A-Palooza misses the mark and will go home in a doggy bag. I hate to be a bitch, but the doggy bag would be the ones you use when walking your dog. Also more fun than this. Sorry.
- Nice 3D modelling (not the characters).
- Some amusing sound effects.
- Erratic. No sure way to victory.
- Some characters overpowered.
- Despite four modes, it became a chore early on.