Buzz! Junior is a series that gives the impression it’s geared towards the younger generation with cartoon characters plastered on the box and couple of kids in the driver's seat with the buzzers. However this is not the case and many, young and old, have enjoyed the challenge of Buzz! Junior, which was first introduced to us through Jungle Party, then followed shortly by RoboJam.
The fun now continues with the series latest release, Buzz! Junior Monster Rumble. Like its predecessor, and for those who are not sure what Buzz! Junior is, Monster Rumble features a series of minigames with varying challenges based around speed and precision timing.
Buzz! caters for up to four players and is played using the Buzz paddle, which has a big red button and four colour-coded buttons. The challenges make full use of the paddle so it pays to remember the layout. All you need to do is get the most points out of each of the mini-games and you come out top. The game sounds pretty simplistic, but if this is your first look into the game then don’t be fooled by the concept until you’ve had a go.
Monster Rumble doesn’t feature any monkeys or robots, but - you guessed it - rather nutty looking monsters. The monsters have their own characteristics, but these can be modified at the start of the standard game. The customisation though is limited and really doesn’t offer much difference from the with which you start. To some degree, you sort of wonder why the option is available. Some minigames are from a birdseye view or played on an angle. The only real time you see the customisation is in between the rounds.
Customisation is also available through the game modes. The custom mode allows you to play a selection of your own choice. It’s a great way to weed out the boring stuff and leaves the fun challenges. The other modes included are the same as what we’ve seen before, Quick Start or Standard, which is then followed by selecting the length of the game. The length is not time driven, but is a predetermined amount of min-games applied to each of the length available for selection.
In all you have 25 mini-games, but again you don’t have to play the whole lot, just choose the desired length. You also don’t need four players, either, as the CPU will fill in the remaining monsters. The CPU is no slouch and puts up a pretty competitive fight offering a bit more of a challenge. And besides, what fun would it be if you breezed through?
The minigames are a mixture of what we have seen before and a few new ones. Of the lot you could say the minigame which can be decribed as bumper cars, but on ice, is the one to play. You gain points based on how you hit them or if you send them into the freezing waters. It's great fun and a real challenge. The difficulty is that you have no control on how you slide. All you do is control the direction and how hard you charge them. So if you hit someone on the wrong angle then you could end up sliding into the freezing waters yourself. That’s just one of the great minigames of Buzz! Junior Monster Rumble and there are others that will offer the same sorts of challenge and fun to keep you going for awhile.
Buzz! Junior Monster Rumble unfortunately feels like its predecessors, just with a face-lift. We will give it its dues and say it looks great, has a funny mini-movie and some crazy looking monsters, but nothing really stands out. The success of a session will come from the company you are in. Gather up a few people willing to have a go and you’ll find Buzz! Junior Monster Rumble turning out to be a great game and one that could be pulled out along side Buzz! or SingStar.