Drink More Gurp
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The presentation throughout Drink More Glurp is brilliant. It’s like an iPod ad from the 00s with its bold, flat design and in-your-face no-nonsense advertising. False advertising, mind. Aliens have emulated the Olympic Games somewhat – holding their interpretation, featuring some pseudo athletic challenges to compete in with up to 20 players locally. That’s no mean feat. But ignore what people told you about sports being a team game: for the solo player, there are more than enough challenges to keep yourself occupied and socially distanced from society. It’s overrated anyway.
There are two modes to choose from, Party Mode and Challenges. The first is the multiplayer option for 20 players and the one I played first with my daughter. We were instantly absorbed into the advertising world of drinking more Glurp and other broadcasts that interrupted our game. Well, the broadcasts were often better than the games as they were chaotic. Each challenge is a relatively short one, but through the controls, the levels end up taking two or three times longer than you’d expect. Each alien you play has a pair of arms/legs that are operated independently of one another using the analogue sticks.
The majority of the time you will be running – whether that’s sprinting, the run up for a jump or avoiding incoming ‘enemies’. When we first started the game, we were both quite blown away by the number of customisations on offer from the outset for your character. You can choose bright colour combinations, monkey masks, Christmas themes, a fez – you name it. Wacky is probably the word we’re looking for. After what seemed like an age of us both fine-tuning our looks, we started the games and… they didn’t get off to a good start. The games play out like a wonky Track & Field, only if you go for the button-mashing route, you won’t get anywhere. The idea is to rotate the joysticks to move forward, but you can also pull down on them to jump.
If you think of playing Gang Beasts after minimal sleep, drinking a pint of diesel and standing on your head, that’s what the controls are like. After four or five events, we decided to knock it on the head as neither of us was getting any satisfaction from the game. Retiring to another game of Kingdom Rush, a day passed, and I decided to give the game a try as a one player. With these sort of games, you’d expect the multiplayer to be the selling point, and as long as the other players are enjoying themselves, I’d say yes, this is where the game would excel as playing on your own is not fun.
With the Challenges, you get a bundle of events to take part in and need to aim for Gold, Silver or Bronze, based on the time you finish in. Despite having more than enough gaming years under my belt, I could not get to grips with the controls. One such event had me racing through a zigzag maze of what seemed like jelly, and no matter how many times I times to get through, I’d bounce back to the start. The level of the trophy was awarded based on the seconds it takes to complete: 15, 25 and 40. Alas, DNF – as in Did Not Finish may have well been a prize, if so, I’d be the galactic champ.
Eventually, I got to grips with it, but at best, was getting Silvers as I’d start well then struggle at the last moment. If you make a mistake, you may as well restart as it’s almost impossible to correct – especially when it comes to time. While the colours are nice and bold and simplicity is the word of the day, it wasn’t until I was pausing between plays to write this that I noted just how basic it was. Often the simplest of designs are the best, and while the presentation is basic enough, the controls aren’t and are too gimmicky. On top of that, the music is this understated drone that doesn’t get you pumped but more like a background track for sudoku while you sip a skinny latte. Not everything can be metal – that’s fine, but something a bit more upbeat may have helped with the rhythm of the movement.
So, with the solo side of things on the backburner as it simply wasn’t fun on my own (other than choosing the appearance of the character – I liked that element). I went back to multiplayer and roped in everybody I could with opposable thumbs – even Nana who is part of our vague social bubble during COVID-19. Breaking it down by generation; my three-year-old thought it looked pretty but just held the controls, the ten-year-old got frustrated with the movements, my wife thought the customisation was cute, and my mum said how clever it was and a good idea. She was the only person to finish every challenge on time as she was meticulous in her approach. She did say she preferred Mortal Kombat though. No, she didn’t say which one, but back in the day she wiped the floor with me on MK3.
It’s challenging to maintain a flow of enthusiasm when practically all your gaming ‘buddies’ aren’t interested in the game enough to play it, but more so when you feel the same way. If you’re after a party game, could TBG suggest Brunch Club? Read the review here. On the first inspection, Drink More Glurp looked like a lot of fun and just the party game that goes down well in this household, but based on the controls, we just couldn’t find enough enjoyment in it. Not even those sadistic tendencies when you laugh at the other players struggling – we were all in the same boat.
On the surface Drink More Glurp is a good idea and looks like a pretty, fun game. However, the analogue controls are tricky to master and need quite a bit of precision and timing to get anywhere in a challenge. As a solo outing, there wasn’t any incentive to play as it’s time-based – there aren’t any other competitors on-screen. For multiplayer, it boils down to those who play as playing this with various generations; no one appreciated it other than my non-gaming mum.
TBG Score: 5/10
Platform: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo
Release Date: 06/08/2020
No. of Players: 1-20
Download link: eShop