A Gummy’s Life (Switch, PC)

At the end of this month, on Halloween kids will dress up and go door to door getting candy, so what better time to play a game about gummy candies beating the sugar out of each other?  That’s exactly what you do in A Gummy’s Life, an arena fighter for up to 8 players!  It’s available to download on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

The game is pretty basic.  Upon pressing start you have the option to “Play, Go Online, select Options, or Training.”  After that you can pick your gummy character.  I love how they represented most of the popular types of gummy candies here.  You have bears, sharks, cola bottles, hamburgers, eggs, and much more.  You can even select the color of your gummy and if it’s sugar frosted!  I’m not a big fan of candy, but this game did make me hungry for gummy colas, which is one of the only gummy candies l like!

From there you go to a screen where you choose the rules of the game, how many games played, and which maps to fight on.  This part reminded me of the select screens in Super Smash Bros.  One of my favorite parts are the 3-D arena stages you can play on.  One of them looks like a Battlebots stage, complete with buzzsaws on the edge.  Another looks like Frogger, as you must avoid cars on the road and logs in the river.  Another looks just like the classic DK stage from Super Smash Bros., complete with moving platforms and the barrel cannon.  Considering how they named some of these stages, it seems like the developers were aware of what these stages looked like, too.  Winners are usually decided by which team is left standing on the field.

So far this game looks like it would be really fun, but the big problem finally rears its ugly head, and that’s the bad play control.  Each button on the controller is used here.  You can punch with your right and left hands, grab and carry enemies, jump, headbutt, and more.  It just seems a bit much.  This is a simple multiplayer arena battler, not a Virtua Fighter game!  But even then, I’d be OK with that if the controls weren’t so sluggish and hit detection wasn’t so spotty.  Also, you only want to play this game with other people.  It’s just not near as fun by yourself.  But even then, I just can’t get past the bad play control.

Kid Factor:

A Gummy’s Life is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Blood and Violence.  This is one of the few times I disagree with the ESRB ratings.  It’s true that when you punch enemies, gummy juice comes out.  But it’s not blood and the colors are helpful to know who got hit.  But I think I read somewhere that the Blood descriptor on the ESRB ratings includes any sort of liquid that comes out of something, including bug guts or juice. And yeah it’s a fighting game, but you’re just candy beating each other up.  I’d be perfectly OK with any kid playing this, although I can’t imagine most kids putting up with the sluggish controls.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get a gummy cola to snack on.

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