Thankfully the rest of the cast is in the game in one form or another, even if it’s just a pointless cameo. Popular characters like Rowlf, Bunsen, Beaker, Sam the Eagle, and of course the Swedish Chef, are all represented on the board, and can even make the difference between wining and losing. They are a nice addition to the game, but it would have been nice to have been able to play as them, or at least more than six characters.
Also lacking are the mini-games, the backbone of a party game like this. You start with fifteen and are able to buy fifteen more, which is less than half of what you’d find in any of the recent Mario Party titles. To make matters worse, most of the mini-games are barely worth playing, let alone writing about. Most of the games are either too frustrating or too monotonous to be entertaining.
Of course, the Muppets Party Cruise does offer a few enjoyable mini-games worth playing. Take Speed Bingo, for example, a game of bingo that, as the title indicates, goes a whole lot faster than you’re prepared for. With friends over this two minute game can be a whole lot of fun, and could really could have been fleshed out to make a far more gripping game.
I also enjoyed the multi-player pinball rip-off Spinball, which, despite its name, is not connected to a Sonic the Hedgehog game in any way. There’s also Beach Speeders, which resembles the classic arcade game Super Sprint to fantastic effect. And really, no cruise is complete without playing a little shuffleboard. The problem lies in the fact that for ever one of these fun mini-games, I can name two or three that aren’t any fun to play at all.
Strangely, even though the mini-games aren’t much fun and the game is ghastly boring, it’s the music that is the worst feature in this game. Imagine, if you will, a two-minute long loop of the worst Caribbean music of all time repeated in every aspect of the game until you’re ready to listen to a John Tesh concert just to get it out of your head! This music definitely goes a few steps beyond unbearable, and may actually be hazardous to your health.
All the while I was playing this title I found myself wishing I could enjoy polygonal Muppets in something that wasn’t a cookie cutter genre; something other than kart racing or party games. Even at $20 this game is too expensive for the little fun you’ll get out of it. Considering how many high quality Greatest Hits titles are out there for exactly the same price, this Cruise just doesn’t seem worth taking.
To say that the Muppets Party Cruise does nothing new seems like a bit of an understatement. Even though it has a fantastic presentation, you just can’t overlook how old and limited the game is. You’d have just as much, if not more, fun picking up one of the numerous other board game titles at your local used game store. Or better yet, why not just buy a real board game and play it with the television turned off.
The Muppets Party Cruise will not make you physically ill and may seem like a great deal, but looks can be deceiving. Even at $20 you may want to think twice about buying a ticket for this cruise.
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