Tetsumo Party title screen

First of all, don’t expect anything life-changing with Tetsumo Party by Monster Couch. This game is dumb but fun dumb. It’s a puzzle party game available on the Switch and had a bit of an appeal to me. So, I bought it, and here, I review it.

The game is simple: manoeuvre your chosen character into a pose that matches the oncoming shape so that you can progress to the next. The oncoming shape is a pose you need to mirror that is cutaway in a wall. Think body Tetris. If you don’t match the shape, then the wall knocks your character up against the screen, and it’s the end of the game.

My interest came from a game show I used to watch when in Japan. Like most Japanese TV shows, it was a panel show of celebrities that had to move their body into a pose to replicate the oncoming cutaway. The selection in the show was excellent and often impossible, hence the appeal. Watching the reactions of the guests was always entertaining, and so I thought Tetsumo Party would be the closest thing other than building my own set. Check out the YouTube video below of the actual game show – subtitles aren’t needed, you’ll get the idea.

Assuming the Position

At the start of each stage, your character begins in a neutral position, and it is your job to pose their arms and legs into the incoming shape. There are four buttons you will use: L and R to control your arms and ZL and ZR for your legs. Your arms can face straight down or up, bent down or up or held out straight. As for your legs, they remain straight, bent at the knee or if you move both legs at the same time, you will do the splits.

Each limb is independent of one another and in the first few walls of shapes, you will most likely press one button at a time to position each limb as there is usually enough time before the wall gets to you. However, it is straightforward to go past the desired shape and to get back to where you want to be. You have to repeatedly have to press the button as you can only cycle through positions in one direction.

As mentioned, the first few shapes are simple, and you won’t have to reposition your character to the extreme. It does get faster, and unless you multitask with your button pressing, you aren’t going to get that far. It’s a straightforward game and concept but can get quite tricky and equally frustrating.

Sumo bending over to pick up pants

Location, Location, Location. And Characters

There aren’t levels as such, and when referring to stages, that’s simply the backgrounds and nothing else. When you cock up and hit the wall, which you will, it’s game over but not in the drastic sense. Tetsumo Party is a party game after all so all about pick up and play. All that happens is when the round ends; you start a new one but in a different location.

All stages are the same in that you need to pose accordingly, but with each character, you select comes a different challenge. Initially you begin with a sumo and his counterpart in ninja attire. Progress through each level meeting your goals or collecting sushi and you can then unlock new characters. Anything from a samurai to Cleopatra. Naturally.

Some of the challenges you will meet may mean completing 20 consecutive walls in one round or collecting x amount of sushi. The sumo has a challenge of picking up his underwear 15 times (though this doesn’t have to be completed in the same round). Complete the challenge, and you then unlock currency (sushi) to buy a new player.

The character selection screen in Tetsumo Party

It’s Time To Party

While characters don’t bring anything new other than their own challenge, some are much better to control. In comparison to the sumo, Cleopatra’s limbs are much smoother and more accessible to see/position in preparation for the next shape. The sumo’s arms are squares and don’t look as good as his Egyptian counterpart.

So, with the stages and character selection, what else is there to Tetsumo Party? Not much. You’ll encounter everything in the first 10 minutes of play. Granted, you won’t unlock all the characters in this time, but you’ll know what to expect. It is fun as a single player in small doses. I was quite surprised how long I played it for each time – much longer than anticipated – but this is a multiplayer game. Once you play this against a chum, it’s much more enjoyable.

All we’re left with then is the controls (fiddly at times) and the presentation. Visually this won’t win any awards, but I saw the trailer before I purchased, and was happy with the presentation. Having unlocked other characters now though, I wished the earlier characters were similar in design – notably their arms. I can’t say as much about the sound. The voice effects are incredibly annoying, and I was on the verge of muting a few times. But, it’s a party game, and you’ll probably be talking/shouting anyway.

Cleopatra gets in on Tetsumo Party

So, is it any good? Well, I’d won’t recommend it, but I’m not going to say it’s a bad game either. It has served the purpose for me, and I’m neither shouting about how great this game is nor how disappointed I am. I think you can judge this on the trailer (you’ll see everything in the game anyway) and if you like the look of it, then it’s worth a look (perhaps on sale). If you don’t like the look of it, nor the concept, then obviously avoid. If you like your party games, I’ve covered a couple already and would say Toridama: Brave Challenge or Use Your Words might be a better option. Your choice.

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