We wanted Piper’s Party Pandas to be good just as much as you did, dear reader. The highly anticipated game from indie studio Rocket Renegades certainly delivers on its ambitious premise, amping up the party game experience to eleven and polishing it to a mirror sheen. There’s just one problem: an unwelcome new spin on the party game genre. You see, in this game, the players’ decisions actually matter. Ugh, what a letdown.
Nerfwire is sorry to report that Piper’s Party Pandas is fair. Really fair. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call it balanced, even skill-based. Like all good party games, PPP’s twists and turns are easy to learn, but where Piper stumbles is in making these strategies sensible and worth pursuing. There’s almost no RNG, which means that generally speaking, the person with the fastest reflexes, the best timing, and the smartest plays will come out on top. Huge disappointment.
Another area where Pandas falters is in communicating the players’ goals. That is, PPP actually communicates the players’ goals. Get this: at any given time, the player with the most points is winning. There isn’t even a segment at the very end where a ton of extra points are awarded based on random bullshit you had no idea you were playing for. It’s enough to make anyone throw their joysticks at the screen.
That said, the game isn’t all bad. Thankfully, some of the minigames control a bit sloppily, ensuring that players will give up and start hopelessly button-mashing. In addition, there are a number of gratifying catch-up mechanics that punish players for doing too well. But in spite of these redeeming qualities, Piper’s Party Pandas ultimately falls flat.
Overall, we give Piper’s Party Pandas an eight out of ten. It has a little something for everyone!