Coming from Microids and developer Balio Studio, Garfield Lasagna Party is out now for all major consoles and PCs. We tested it on a PlayStation 4 Pro.
With a title like Garfield Lasagna Party, we had a pretty good idea of what to expect – a mini-game collection that follows the Mario Party template but with Garfield and friends attached as a license. Not a bad idea, especially for fans of the IP, but ultimately the quality of games like this is always down to the execution – especially with such a high bar already set by Mario and friends.
We’ve seen mini-games with far too few games included, but Garfield Lasagna Party features a decent 32, so for a good while there’s going to be something new to play and there’s bound to be a few favorites among them as well. And besides the option to select your own mini-games, you can also play the game in a board game mode – something else that will sound familiar to fans of the party game genre.
The board game mode in Garfield Lasagna Party is quite bare bones though, and not that exciting. Where recent entries in the Mario franchise have greatly expanded on the core formula, this game sticks with the foundations laid out by traditional board games – the kind where you roll the dice and move forward. There are a few items that can provide you with temporary perks, but ultimately it’s a rather unremarkable mode that you’re not likely to play more than once or twice because it doesn’t add that much to the mini-games themselves.
Garfield Lasagna Party’s mini-games, as with most mini-game collections (including Mario Party, to a degree), vary in quality and originality. There a fun throwback to classic arcade formulas like Snake (dubbed Supercat here), there’s a cute rhythm game and a selection of arcade games where you catch and/or dodge stuff. Games that are well balanced and designed for multiplayer gameplay are the better ones, like Tick-Tock – a take on hot potato where you pass an alarm clock around and try to hide out when you don’t have it.
Other games feel less balanced and refined, sometimes because of awkward controls and other times because (when playing with CPU characters) the AI opponents are either useless or way too good to be fun to play with. This seems to not be a universal issue but rather mini-game specific, so hopefully a few post-launch tweaks can help with this. Until then, your best bet is to play with friends and family in local co-op (online isn’t supported).
Aside from the technical (AI and control) issues that will hopefully be fixed, Garfield Lasagna Party is pretty much what you’d expect. For us, one of the biggest appeals was the fact that Garfield and his friends have been lovingly recreated in 3D, so for fans of the source material that’s definitely a plus. Take that away and you’ve got a fairly generic party with a few gems and a few stinkers, but if you regularly play local multiplayer you’ll have a good time with this one.