Rio is another game of a movie, but rather than taking the action-adventure route that many licenses opt for, it takes a different flight path. The avian-themed animated film has been turned into a multiplayer party game by THQ – appropriately enough, given the famous Rio de Janeiro carnival that features in the flick.
This is a collection of 43 mini-games, with a number of different ways to play them. The story mode intersperses the gaming action with rather flimsy narrative and clips from the film, or there’s a gameshow-style mode, featuring jokers that double your points on events where you’re confident of success. Trimmings aside, the whole experience lives and dies on the strength of the mini-games.
And these are strongly reminiscent of that old classic, Fuzion Frenzy – with the same local four-player action, and console-controlled avatars making up the numbers if you’re short. Similar sorts of games are on offer, too, with variants of tag, dodgeball, rhythm games and timing-based challenges where you have to duck and jump under obstacles.
Pass the bomb
Appropriately, given the carnival theme, there’s more of a focus on music and party games. Some of these are great fun and make Rio ideal for a kid’s birthday party. There are several variations of musical statues here, and even a version of pass the parcel – although in this case the parcel is an ACME style bomb with a long burning fuse.
The lion’s share of the games are good – or at least decent enough – but there are some stinkers. A couple of flight-based mini-games have horrible controls, for instance, which makes the whole affair a matter of blind luck, which can be frustrating. Even so, the kids aren’t likely to mind, and Rio is certainly an appealing family title.
- Good four-player family fun.
- Not very original, and some repetition creeps in.
This collection of mini-games is enjoyable and very family friendly. True enough, it isn't a particularly original idea, and there aren't really forty-three games as some are repeated with only slight variations. However, Rio is good local multiplayer fun on the whole, even if its staying power is a bit dubious in the long run.