Corgi punching Unicorn off a sinking submarine in Party Animals
Get off my ship! Screenshot by Dot Esports.

Drowning unicorns in Party Animals is much better with friends

Throwing hands never felt so cute.

A submarine slowly sinks into the ocean with eight fuzzy animal friends waddling aboard. This isn’t a play date for them; this is a matter of life or an utterly tragic death. I, a pudgy little corgi, teamed up with an otter buddy who had a thousand-yard stare that would make Kubrick proud. Its eyes were lifeless as if it had witnessed countless tragedies before the drowning of all our fellow critters today. Without speaking a word to one another, we knew exactly what to do.

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One by one, we knocked our fellow creatures into the water, recognizing the need to find higher ground at any cost as the sub descended. I desperately climbed the submarine while a vibrantly-striped tiger tried to yank my tail and hurl me off the vessel. My otter buddy, fueled by either friendship or bloodlust, hurled itself at my assailant and kicked it in the back of the head, incapacitating it before it was swept swiftly by the tides. We reached the top first, and the only target left to neutralize was a pretty unicorn with a flowing pink mane. The symbol of magic and hope for children everywhere—we drowned it for a few more seconds of survival.

This tear-jerking, head-scratching recounting was my latest session of Party Animals, the party-style beat-’em-up where you play as cutesy little creatures and beat the ever-loving stuffing out of each other. Each round lets you fight in all sorts of deadly terrains, perfectly built to destroy any trace of life as quickly as possible. Push a bushy-tailed bunny into the freezing Antarctic ocean, or watch in horror as a shades-wearing crocodile claws for its life before getting sucked into a wind tunnel with a giant spinning propeller. 

Misery loves company though, and instilling misery on adorable creatures in Party Animals is much more enjoyable with a friend. 

Slaughter your favorite animals in Party Animals

Everyone gets electrocuted by a taser in Party Animals.
What a shocker. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

What makes Recreate Games’ physics-based brawler stand out is not only its ridiculously inane premise but also the buddy system. You don’t have to fend for yourself in Party Animals, instead, you can commit these PETA violations with the help of a pal. As a party game, of course, you can turn your brain off and just go to town headbutting grumpy kittens, but the partner dynamic adds a fun and rather intuitive depth of strategy.

See, Party Animals’ combat centers not only around the deadly terrain you’re fighting on but also the items that frequently drop throughout the match, just like Smash Bros. These deadly weapons include hammers, shovels, and crossbows. One time, a gorilla started a dogpile by tasing a mob of furballs trying to grapple each other. And I may have accidentally tripped over the foot of an unconscious rabbit and shocked myself as well—so much for the lucky rabbit’s foot.

Having a teammate means you can plan who grabs what items or coordinate one animal fending off the enemies while the other grabs a giant lollipop and bludgeons a nearby duck with it. And in the heat of battle, if an ill-intentioned beagle hurls a boomerang at your noggin that renders you unconscious, your ally can defend your body while you come to and become fighting fit again.

In a sense, this buddy system creates something of a comeback mechanic. While being unconscious and therefore temporarily inactionable isn’t typically very “fun,” you always have a chance of scoring the point for the round due to your partner, who can either bide time for you to wake up or beat the opposition who hurled your fluffy corpse into the poisonous gas. Matches are always chaotic if you haven’t caught on by now, so sometimes being unconscious is fun because you can simply watch it all unfold. 

Teamwork makes the butchery even better

Kitty tried to throw husky into gas pit in Party Animals.
This cat nearly threw me into a gas-filled chasm. Bad kitty! Screenshot by Dot Esports.

Throughout my entire experience with Party Animals, there was something beautiful about fighting these cutesy animals with the help of a malicious buddy. All of the modes in Party Animals encourage team-based gameplay. Having a partner means you’re always invested in the action, even if you get off to a rough start and get taken out early. Having a friend out there in the battlefield, dressed like a walrus, working alongside me made Party Animals an absolute blast. Even losing feels okay when you have someone beside you. And winning through teamwork makes you feel a lot less like a villain, though all the mammals I threw off an airplane might disagree.

To my otter friend, wherever you are, I hold fond memories of the time we spent together on the submarine. We sat back and enjoyed the unobstructed view of the sky. And yeah, sure, we watched silently as the unicorn got thwacked by a fish and drifted away face-down in the water. But having you there beside me made me feel a little less guilty.


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Author
Eddie Halpin
My name is Eddie Halpin and I've been competing in Super Smash Bros. Melee tournaments since 2016. I love everything Nintendo and FGC.