During the quasi-pleasure of playing Gumboy Crazy Adventures, you rolled about collecting stars, changing your shape and sticking to surfaces to open up a portal and finish the level. While the game was a one-trick pony, it had fairly entertaining stables for you to frolic through. Sadly, its more adventurous cousin, Gumboy Tournament, takes this action into a multiplayer environment. This move could generously be described as brave, but playing Gumboy Tournament for any length of time makes it obvious that this is a game both characterised by frustration and frustrated boredom.
In Gumboy Tournament, you must roll against other spherical Gumboys in games of Capture The Flag, Diamond Collection (read: get points) and Checkpoint Racing, which all suffer from only having a few tiny, samey and lifeless arenas that are made even harder to navigate because the stripped-down control system lets you move at a speed akin to a treacle-dunked tortoise. You can control the Gumboy with your keyboard or mouse, the latter being a damn sight more effective, but no less frustrating.
You see, all of the objectives involve some form of accuracy, be it grabbing a flag, hitting another Gumboy, or passing a checkpoint. Yet the Gumboys are floaty, nigh-on impossible to navigate, and move at a speed that%26rsquo;s never up to the task %26ndash; even when using the woefully short-lived speed power-ups. This means that playing with what few other players are online is genuinely distressing, an endless dance of nine people trying to jump through constantly-moving hoops. Playing against the computer is somehow less fun, as while you lack precision and control, the computer is able to pull off feats of physics wizardry. You%26rsquo;ll watch in awe at the AI%26rsquo;s testicular triumph as they roll their balls into just the right spot, like Ron Jeremy at an as-yet-unnamed Olympic event.
If Gumboy Tournament was a controllable yet dull game it would be passable %26ndash; maybe even OK. But as it stands its nauseating, greased-pig feel makes it devoid of fun and value. If you%26rsquo;re of a tender disposition, hungover, or prone to travel sickness then this balletic nine-player nut-party will send you running to the toilet.
Jul 25, 2008