A relatively unknown name for console gamers, the My Singing Monsters franchise just got a partygame in My Singing Monsters Playground, which is available for all major systems. It’s a surprisingly good game in a genre dominated by a certain Nintendo exclusive – here are our thoughts on the PlayStation version.
Of course, any party game that consists of a bunch of mini games is going to be compared to games like Mario Party – in its many versions. There are two problems with that franchise though, and the biggest one is that it’s a Nintendo exclusive that you can’t play on Xbox, PlayStation or PC – though we assume the latter isn’t a big party game platform. The other platform, and this one’s a bit more subjective, is that Mario Party adds a board game element to its standard mode, and if you’re just looking to play a bunch of minigames in rounds then that just gets in the way a little.
Enter My Singing Monsters Playground, which builds on a franchise that’s popular on mobile – though I also remember a Vita port that was available for a while as one of the rare free to play titles for the platform. Playground uses a roster of seven characters from those earlier releases, but other than that it’s a completely standalone experience that doesn’t require any advance knowledge or experience.
Playable with up to four players at once, you get a collection of 25 different minigames to play with, and none of them feel like filler material. There’s a nice division of game types too, with a majority (15 of them) being in a free for all/every play for themselves format and the rest consisting of 2 vs 2 and 3 vs 1 games. All of the games control well and are easy to learn too, never using more than two buttons and offering a little reminder of the controls and rules before each round.
The standard game mode is tournament, which gives you 10 to 20 minigames to play and is perfect for local multiplayer gaming – besides winning there are other ways to earn points too, which can keep the tournament close for a long time. There’s an arcade ladder-like gauntlet mode as well that’s meant for single player gaming too, where you try and beat the CPU at as many games as possible. Any unlocked minigame can also be played in free mode, and unlocking is as easy as just playing through the tournament mode a few times – it’ll come naturally.
There aren’t a whole lot of other modes to play, and the only other content is a prize machine where you can spend tokens – which ties into the visual customization options you have for your characters and the lobby in which you select game modes. This does show off the visual polish that the game has received though, which puts it above a lot of other attempts at party games – developer Big Blue Bubble has crafted something that can stand up the Mario Party games in visual and gameplay design.
My Singing Monsters Playground is a terrific party game for both kids and adults, and a great alternative to Mario Party for anyone who doesn’t have a Switch. It could have been higher on content, but what’s there is all of a good quality.