PlayStation Move is Sony's attempt to tap into the casual gamer market that is currently dominated by the Wii, so the launch line-up was bound to be led by mini-game collections. One of those is the bright and colourful Start the Party, which as you might assume is an assortment of simple games designed to be played by anyone who can hold a Move controller. It's a clear evolution of the classic EyeToy games from the PS2, but does Move make this a party you simply have to be a part of?
Start the Party features nine mini-games, each only requiring the use of a single PlayStation Move controller, along with 10 or more even smaller games that crop up during multiplayer games. This meagre list of activities is the game's biggest problem - there just isn't enough variety to keep you playing once the initial Move excitement wears off. Of the nine, thankfully most are good fun, but a few stick out as duds.
Poppin' simply tasks you with popping bubble-like creatures that rise up the screen. The announcer tells you which colour to go for and then you just pop as many of that colour as possible until you hit another by mistake and are told to move onto another colour. It's initially a little awkward to get the stabbing motion for popping right, but soon you'll be bursting those poor creatures in double quick time.
Robo Rumble is one of the weakest in the collection, with a string of mechanical nasties wandering towards you with TV screens on their chests, each displaying you holding a cattle-prod type device. You must zap a target inside each screen, but it's not as easy as it might sound. The orientation of these screens is often flipped or reversed, so it's not as easy as it sounds. Still, this is a fairly uninspired round and one I didn't find myself wanting to play more than a few times.
Rooftop Rescue is a fairly simple case of guiding a small helicopter around a cityscape, picking up stranded civilians with a ladder and taking them to the hospital before a massive dinosaur eats them. Simple, but fun. Cut 'n' Color gives you a pair of hair trimmers and dye as you attempt to shave the heads of spiky-haired kids who also want a colour change. This is one of the most fun games Start the Party has to offer and works really well with the Move controller.
Parachute Panic tasks you with fanning falling parachutists so they land safely on rafts, instead of in the mouth of a lingering shark. Bug Bash gives you a tennis racket and lets you swing it around, mashing up the bugs that are flying around the screen. Just make sure you avoid the bad bugs. While Bug Bash is crazy and fun, Parachute Panic's fan tool doesn't work well and causes a few control issues.
A favourite of mine is Picture This, an incredibly simple art round in which you draw over basic shapes that are displayed on the screen. You're graded for each drawing and at the end the various shapes come together to form an animated animal of some kind. It's a neat touch and one that's likely to put a smile on the faces of younger players.