Disney Tsum Tsum Festival Review — An Adorable Bore
Disney Tsum Tsum Festival is a complete and utter failure of a party game, with only a match-three puzzle mini-game providing even a small amount of fun.
I really don’t know how to start this review. Typically, I like to give some background on my history with the property I’m reviewing, if I have any, and then tell you what I think of the game in a short few sentences. But with Disney Tsum Tsum Festival, even with my well-known, copious knowledge of the history of the Disney brand, I have a hard time getting excited to talk about this game. Why, you might ask? Because Disney Tsum Tsum Festival is a game that, as a whole, is a complete and utter bore to play, from pretty much beginning to end.
That’s right, Disney, Bandai Namco, and B.B. Studio have teamed up to make a game centered around those tiny, Beanie-Baby-sized caricatures of classic Disney characters you can find in the toys section at Target. To some, it really shouldn’t be a surprise that this game would turn out terrible, but given the fact that I quite enjoyed the Tsum Tsum-themed match-three puzzle game on iOS and Android a couple of years back, I figured that at the very least this would give me some fun. Sadly, that wasn’t the case and I was left completely uninterested playing Disney Tsum Tsum Festival.
To start out with the good, the match-three puzzle game that was available a few years ago is packed into this game. If you enjoy match-three puzzle games, this will at least keep your brain occupied for a bit and can be some fun. But as many of us that played Candy Crush know, that style of fun very quickly wears off. And after that point, you’re left with 10 or so other party games that aren’t nearly as fun to play and a $50 hole in your bank account.
Aside from that one singular game, Disney Tsum Tsum Festival is just a collection of disposable mini-games. While I certainly didn’t expect a Game of the Year experience here, I did expect each mini-game to be at least some sort of fun that would leave me satisfied. Unfortunately, Disney Tsum Tsum Festival didn’t even meet that low bar.
Each mini-game lasts about one to two minutes depending on which one you play. All of them are insanely simple, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for a party game, but it certainly doesn’t help when the gameplay itself is an absolute slog to begin with. Players can run through obstacle courses, play a simple version of air hockey, attempt to knock your opponents off a platform with spinning tops like a freakin’ Beyblade, dance in a rhythm game, and more.
In fact, one of the only mini-games that I really had any iota of a good time with is the shooting gallery, which acts somewhat similarly to the Toy Story Mania attraction found at Disney Parks around the world. Players take control of a cannon and use the Joy-Cons to aim and fire against moving targets. Is it anything close to making this package worth it? Nope. But at least I had a smile on my face while playing it, which can’t really be said about the other modes.
Considering how many mini-games there are in this collection, I don’t really feel the need to go over every single one of them. They are all small experiences that have no real gratifying payoff. That being said, some are certainly worse than others. The Bubble Hockey (air hockey), Spinner Battle (the spinning top game), and Ice Cream Stacker game all just feel extremely monotonous and have no real weight to them. I felt like I was simply going through the motions with all of those games and didn’t really have any fun playing them.
Other games feel just flat out broken. The previously-mentioned rhythm game feels like it doesn’t work half of the time. This mini-game works similarly to something like Dance Dance Revolution, but instead of moving your feet in different directions, players move the Joy-Cons in different directions to match the direction shown on the screen.
If you’re playing one of the easier, one-star levels, it’s fine and it feels like every move registers fine. The only problem in that scenario is that, once again, it’s not a very fun experience because the only “move” the game gives you is down. But if you’re playing on one of the harder difficulties, you’re required to move the Joy-Con in different directions, sometimes immediately after another move. Personally, I found that each movement only registered about half the time. Could this be a fluke? Possibly. But for me, it wasn’t responsive.
One other thing that’s worth pointing out, which has been mentioned by other people, is that certain mini-games are exclusive to specific Switch modes. If you want to play the traditional Tsum Tsum match-three game, you can only do that in the Switch’s handheld mode. On top of that, you can’t play any other modes in Handheld mode unless you remove one Joy-Con and use it as a controller. This also applies vice versa; you can’t play the match-three game without the Joy-Cons attached to the system.
This means that if you have a Switch Lite, you can only play the match-three puzzle game and pretty much nothing else. You can circumvent this by buying extra Joy-Cons and synching them with the Switch, but the fact that you can’t experience everything the game has to offer right out of the box with the Switch Lite is absolute, utter crap. I would recommend that anyone who has a Switch Lite not even waste their money on this game.
The best part about Disney Tsum Tsum Festival is the match-three puzzle game that’s been out for years on iOS and Android. None of the other games are worth your time and considering the match-three game on mobile devices is completely free, there’s absolutely no reason to pick up this overpriced game. You’re even worse off if you play on the Switch Lite, as at that point you’re essentially paying $50 for a single game that’s free on mobile phones. Disney Tsum Tsum Festival is, at best, absolutely boring, and at worst, a complete and utter ripoff.