Available On: Switch
The Nintendo Switch has a slew of Mario Party-like mini-game collections, including Mario Party itself. But none bring the inexplicable gush of joy from kids (and some adults) like Tsum Tsum.
Disney Tsum Tsum Festival transforms the mobile puzzle game into a multiplayer party game for up to four players locally or online, starring the adorably chubby and popular Tsum Tsum toys.
Disney Tsum Tsum Festival features 10 arcade mini-games, as well as the classic Tsum Tsum Puzzle game that originally launched on mobile in 2014. Tsum Puzzle looks and plays better than ever on the large Switch screen, though holding the Switch vertically is a bit awkward, and local multiplayer requires two Nintendo Switch consoles.
Switching between the fun puzzle game and the true multiplayer party games can be a hassle, as the puzzle game can only be played in handheld mode, while the party games must be played with separate detached Joy-Cons.
About half the games use motion controls. The Joy-Con gyroscope makes them easy and intuitive, from swiping different directions in the rhythm game to stacking falling ice cream in the Ice Cream Stacker.
My favorite games were those I had played in many party games before, such as air hockey, spinner battle, and a straight-up Pac-Man clone called Tsum Chase. Not a lot of points for originality, but the bombastic music, colorful fireworks, and cheering Tsums establish a fun energy and party atmosphere that my family instantly warmed up to.
While online multiplayer is supported in every game, we weren’t able to find a room or any online opponents.
Collect ‘Em All
Every game rewards coins, which can be used to purchase new Tsums – or rather, Present Balloons containing Tsums. I was excited to open our first Present Balloon only to find we needed 10,000 coins. Worse still, our first two balloons gave us duplicates from the dozen or so we started with.
Duplicate Tsums raise their skill level in Tsum puzzle, but they’re a poor reward compared to the thrill of finding a new Disney or Pixar character. For a digital game with over 80 Tsums to unlock it would’ve been nice to see only unique Tsums.
Thankfully coins can be earned fairly quickly thanks to daily missions with specific challenges, as well as a series of Bingo Cards with objectives. Completing a row on a bingo card earns a solid 2,000 coins.
The easiest way to earn coins is through the coin pusher game, which is set up exactly like those coin trap arcade games. What would otherwise be a boring slog is made fun with bright colors, loud music, and the fact that, like any good gambling machine, we’re constantly winning. My seven year old was particularly enthralled with this game and the simple strategy of tossing coins and directing them toward the chute.
Disney Tsum Tsum Festival is rated E for Everyone. As you can expect from a game starring cute Disney branded plushies, there’s no objectionable content. However, the motion control games can be frustrating and difficult for younger gamers.
Disney Tsum Tsum Festival is much smaller, simpler, and limited compared to the likes of Mario Party, and unlocking new Tsums feels like too much of a grind. Yet my family loved the look and feel of each mini-game, creating a colorful party game with boundless energy and a kid-friendly atmosphere.