The game of Snake sure has come a long way in the last 30 years, Conga Master Party! puts a bit of groovy into the formula and gives us a fun little arcade game in the process.
Conga Master Party! tasks you with building up a conga line at various parties, clubs and dance floors. All you have to do is dance near other dancers to convince them to join the conga, all the time your momentum is depleting, gaining new dancers refills the momentum. The challenge is all about balancing getting new dancers to join you before your momentum runs out, it’s straightforward but can prove a real challenge at times. The game has just two modes, story mode and endless mode.
Endless mode is just the above gameplay loop on repeat until your momentum eventually runs out, I personally found this mode to be more fun as you have the room to really build up some epic conga lines that stretch across the entire club – it’s all about high score chasing and is the best use of the gameplay on offer here. Story mode is surprisingly less about a story (maybe something to do with aliens?) and more with providing a spin on the core gameplay. Here you’ll need to convince a number of dancers from four different groups to join your conga line and once you have enough from each group you need to make your way to the exit all while still balancing your momentum. It’s a different kind of challenge as you need to identify where the dancers you need are whilst not wasting too much time and losing precious momentum. It is a careful balancing act that whilst not as fun as high-score chasing Endless mode but is definitely an interesting take on the gameplay.
This itself isn’t very long and you’ll clear story mode pretty quickly, endless mode just reuses all the same maps you unlock from the story, though you’ll have to put in some time if you want to unlock all the playable characters. Each character has different stats so you’ll need to experiment to find what you prefer and suits your strengths. Each stage also has its own quirks – from janitors that ignore health and safety rules and leave wet floors everywhere to waiters that when bumped into will spill drink magically straight into your mouth. They all provide their own challenge that you’ll need to bear in mind when navigating the dance floor.
On top of all this, the game also allows you to take on the dance floor with friends which is good novel fun. The game features several different game modes, from a last dancer standing challenge where you pop your opponents balloons (conga line) to a capture the dancer. There’s a great variety in modes here and if you have friends to play with then the game has plenty of multiplayer goodness to enjoy.
As you’d expect for a game all about dancing the soundtrack is great, often I’ll play a round just to enjoy the music as I dance around. To compliment the disco soundtrack are some pretty basic visuals, there’s a variety of characters to play as and seduce on the dance floor but the art style makes them feel forgettable and does them a disservice. It’s by no means bad but feels like it could be so much more.
All in all Conga Master Party! offers up a good arcade game experience that will definitely help scratch that high score itch. There’s fun to be had here even if it is limited in scope, but for quick 5 minute sessions there’s an incredibly satisfying gameplay loop that is definitely worth a look.