If you were tasked with coming up with one of the weirdest concepts for a game imaginable, chances are you’d come up with a game where numerous sweets (yes, sweets) battle to throw the others off a stage and be the last man standing.
Yes, A Gummy’s Life is a beat-em-up which pits your favourite bits of the pick n mix aisle into a range of different battlefields across a number of different modes. Everyone should start by simply jumping into the free-for-all mode, but there’s also a king of the hill option, a team deathmatch and even a hot potato variety. No matter what mode you play, though, the ultimate aim of the action is to deal out damage to every opponent in sight.
Where my enjoyment started to sap was in the game’s button-mashing elements. The game’s combat never really gives a satisfying feeling when you manage to perfectly time a whack to an opponent’s noggin. On the flip side, if you get knocked to the floor, you’re rendered completely defenceless for a period of time, allowing the opposition characters to simply pick you up and proceed to carry you across the stage before dumping you off the edge. Mashing every button possible to try and get up only feels like it’s doing damage to the Joy-Con rather than making any discernible impact on what’s going on on the screen.
Fortunately, the different battlefields offer enough variation to at least give some sort of respite from the monotony of smacking several shades of you-know-what out of the other gummies in the fight. In one, cannonballs are fired all over the stage which can flatten you at a moment’s notice if you’re standing in the wrong place. In others, the stage rotates quickly like a fairground ride, and the gameplay becomes more about simply avoiding trying to be flung off than it is about doing any damage to your opponents. Another takes place on a football pitch, where you can distract yourself by running the ball into the net.
Up to eight players can get involved for a rumble, playing locally or online. But regardless of who you’re playing with, the game feels really similar. It is puzzling, really, to consider how similar the gameplay is throughout and then see the game’s £13.49 price tag on the eShop. By the very nature of A Gummy’s Life’s gameplay, it doesn’t take very long at all to see all that the game has to offer, and unless you’re coming to play it with a new friend in tow, the joy at the wackiness of it all doesn’t really come back. Couch group play is by far where A Gummy’s Life is best – you don’t get the same giggly joy when playing with people that you can’t see, after all.
A Gummy's Life
A Gummy’s Life is frantic battling multiplayer action, but despite numerous game modes it all feels the same. It won’t keep you entertained for long.