Version Played: Switch (also available on Steam) – $8.99/£8.09Art Games Studio SA

Multiplayer party games aren’t in short supply on Switch, with lots of great titles to choose from. Pooplers is a game that had – until release – flown entirely under my radar, but it’s a surprisingly engaging experience.

In the main versus mode of Pooplers, players take on the roles of mischievous babies, aiming to cover the most floor space on the current stage in their particular colour of ‘poop’ (I use inverted commas there, because – thankfully – the trail your babies leave in their wake is akin to a Splatoon paint splodge, rather than poop). An exasperated parent (which, depending on the mode of play selected, can be either AI or player controlled) attempts to stop the babies by either catching them and placing them in a cot for a timeout or – and this is somethng I haven’t seen the AI do, but it’s an option available to human controlled parent characters – clean up the poop with a mop. Along the way, both baby and parent players can find and use different power ups to aid them in their quest for victory.

Along with the standard competitive free for all mode, there’s a team mode, a parents vs babies mode, an odd zombie horde mode and even a fart-powered soccer mode.

If it all sounds very daft, well – it is. It’s also an awful lot of fun; it’s colourful, easy to get into and has that one-more-go addictiveness common to the best multiplayer games. It’s not the most impressive game from a visual or audio point of view – in fact, it is a little rough around the edges in these areas, though it is at least nicely colourful and, despite its chaotic nature, it’s always pretty easy to see what’s going on – but what matters is that the gameplay is solid and immediately accessible for players of all ages and experience levels. Of all the modes, only the zombie horde mode feels somewhat underwhelming, with gameplay that isn’t quite up to scratch in comparison to the main Splatoon-esque modes. The soccer mode is a good diversion from the main modes, however – far better suited to the game’s mechanics than the horde mode – which is quite a nice bonus.

I’ve been having an absolute blast with Pooplers; it’s a fast paced, funny and hugely entertaining multiplayer game with lots of customisation options – it’s a title that just about anyone can pick up and play with little hassle. Though it’s definitely not a game that has much appeal for playing alone, as a multiplayer experience it’s a very good game indeed – Pooplers is a very pleasant surprise.

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