Fun! Fun! Animal Park is a 2-player party game developed by Nippon Columbia and published by Aksys Games exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. A game I thought would be so much fun because it says so twice in its own title. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer many hours of gameplay with extremely repetitive mini-games. This is definitely geared toward a younger audience in terms of its simplicity but may take a few tries to get used to the motion controls. However, if you want to challenge your family members (or yourself with high scores), want to have a good laugh, and love adorable animals, then this game is easy to pick up and play at any time.
There is not a story to speak of in Fun! Fun! Animal Park but you are accompanied by two mascots; a lion and a rabbit. If playing with a partner, the left joy-con will get the lion as a coaching partner and the right joy-con will get the rabbit. As an adult, they get quite tiring quite quickly as their high pitched banter will never end. Thankfully, the developers have added a fast-forward button to speed through the slow moments and the talking moments. However, you should listen to your animal friends for the explanations of how to play in case you can’t or do not wish to read. This is a great way to keep children involved or to keep their interest while watching!
To Start Playing
As your first time playing the game, you will only have access to Tour Mode with the selection of the Laid Back Course. That course suggests that it will be a playtime of 10 minutes. Since you are playing with the motion controls you cannot use the joy-cons together or with a pro controller. Separate the joy-cons and grab a partner and begin playing tournament style. You will be given 3 short mini-games to play and if you win, collect the amount of Director Medals. The amount you will receive is displayed for that specific mini-game before entering. You then get to spin a roulette wheel for the chance to multiply the amount earned. Once the tournament is over, all other modes and mini-games will be unlocked.
Now back at the menu screen you have 3 modes to choose from; Tour Mode, One Match Mode, and Solo Mode. Tour Mode now gives you 3 more options of length of the tournament; Thrillseeker Course for 20 minutes, Nail-Biter Course for 30 minutes, and Extensive Course for 40 minutes. For One Match Mode, it is still a competition but you play only one mini-game at a time. All 30 mini-games can be completed in roughly 1 hour if you take your time.
About the Mini-Games
Overall, the mini-games showcase about a total of 10 different safari animals; ostrich, cheetah, penguin, giraffe, meerkat, macaw, lemur, kangaroo, panda, and chameleon. Then there are a few pet/farm animals; cat, dog, pig, owl, squirrels, and sheep. They do have adorable animations and the graphics of them are quite nice. You get to play with the animals in all the mini-games so there’s a lot of interaction with them.
In terms of the mini-games becoming repetitive, there are really only about 4-5 types of games. There are races, where you have to shake to joy-cons as quickly as possible and some with obstacles. My partner really enjoyed playing the mini-game that had you curling with a penguin. I enjoyed taking the quick pictures of animals running around and trying to have them center frame. Then, there are balancing games, games that have you counting, and games that have you taking pictures.
Some challenges are even exactly the same but with an added difficulty (i.e. counting or taking pictures of more animals). This would be a lot more acceptable if there were way more than 30 total mini-games to play. However, unlike some luck-based games in the Mario Party series, I did enjoy that all of the games were based on skill. It is a lot more rewarding to win and a lot funnier when you fail spectacularly.
This may be just me, but the controls weren’t as obvious as the tutorials made them out to be. I was using the left joy-con and tried to replicate what I was seeing on my screen, so I didn’t think at first to put the controller in my right hand as that’s my dominate hand.
All motions would be shown with the buttons facing you, even though some challenges required you to have the joy-cons with the buttons facing upward. Once I started getting the hang of always keep my joy-con that way, other mini-games have you putting the joy-cons back upright. You can also play with the joy-cons flat, buttons facing upward, but you have to hold it either vertically for some games and horizontally for others.
Some of us handled each mini-game with ease however and someone kept winning…We won’t mention who fails at this game. To be fair, a lot of the commands are not as responsive as other games. Also, the controls become a lot easier after practice which you can do before starting a real match.
Fun! Fun! Animal Park provided a solid 2 hours of gameplay for me and can be replayed a countless number of times when you want to have a good time with friends or family. A lot more content could have been added and controls a little more refined but none of those things really soured the entire experience. If you want to purchase the game, go here. You can also download this cute Family Fun Party Pack from Aksys Games for free which includes bingo cards, fact cards, recipe cards and word searches.
Fun! Fun! Animal Park$29.99
- The mascots are great for children
- Animals were cute and the interactions were fun
- There were options for modes and length of play
- Motion controls were a little slow to respond
- Certain tutorials weren't reflective of the motions required
- Needs more games to play and variety