What could possibly go wrong?
My last hundred hours of game time has been playing strategy based games, many of them roguelikes with permadeath, but all requiring quick thinking and precision. Stressed and exhausted, my mind needed a rest and that’s when Conga Master Party hit my desk. Much of how we experience a game is dependent on our frame of mind going in, and I was primed and ready to play this delightfully silly game.
It’s Saturday night and your character is ready to dance the night away. The controls couldn’t be simpler, the protagonist continually congas in the direction they are pointed, and that direction is controlled by the shoulder buttons. The dance card goes on through 8 different clubs, all the time the goal being to convince others to join your conga line. The fun at the club ends in one of two ways, either you’ve maxed out your conga line and it’s time to move on to the next club, or you’ve run out of momentum and the fun ends. Convincing NPCs to join your conga line is easy, just dance close to them without bumping them and they’ll feel compelled to join the rhythm.
Each club in Conga Master Party has its own unique music and theme. With a careful eye you can spot some pop culture references such as the Delorean from Back to the Future parked at the dance hall aptly named the Magic Under the Ocean. The general layout of each club is similar; typically a bar on one side, a dance floor in the middle, and a private area that is unlocked after your line has increased to the required size. Besides a different aesthetic, each level will feel like the last.
Dancing is best done with friends and Conga Master Party has a number of different multiplayer modes to choose from. Each mode is generally the same, up to 4 friends control a dancer with the aim of building the largest conga line with each mode introducing a slight twist. Cut the Conga provides scissors to each player to try to sabotage the other teams. Just Conga requires single Joy-Con play where at a given time each player must replicate how one person is holding their Joy-Con. My favorite mode is Mortal Conga, where instead of other dancers you pick up bubbles with the goal being to pop the opponents bubbles before they pop yours.
Maybe I was just in a silly mood when I played Conga Master Party which is why I enjoyed it as much as I did. The whole experience lasted a couple of hours, there’s no progression, no real advancement, just 8 fun levels of dancing and getting my conga on. I don’t expect to come back to this title in the future, but if you’re in the market for a quick experience where you don’t need to think too much and just have some silly fun then Conga Master Party might be right for you.