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March 6, 2018

Frantics Review: A slippery slope of sabotage

by John_A

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A game of minigames using PlayStation’s awesome PlayLink, but how fun is it?

Some of the best games are the ones you play with friends, but dive deeper into that genre and sabotage almost always rears its head in the most amazing ways. PlayLink takes your phone and turns it into an incredibly interactive controller feature for your PlayStation, and Frantics uses the ability to put four people and their phones in the same room to cause as much mayhem as possible.

Developers NapNok Games have brought us this goofy title, complete with 15 minigames and a fight for the most crowns. You and four friends will go up against each other to see who will be the reigning winner, but beware, there’s a sleazy fox in the mix trying to cause trouble for the lot of you!

See on PlayStation Store

See on Google Play Store

Getting started

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Everything starts with your own Frantics profile on the app on your phone. Here you’ll take a selfie and it will assign you a goofy animal that will serve as your avatar. Edit any of these by selecting any of the green buttons, as pictured.

The app itself didn’t give me too many issues and was fairly easy to set up. You need a minimum of 4 animals playing the minigames. Thankfully for those who want to solo the game in real life, Fox will hook you up with some of his friends should you not have the bodies! Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to play without bots if only you and a single friend are playing, 4 is the lucky number it seems.

The games

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When they say minigames they do mean mini. Each game will only take 3 minutes tops to complete, but there are 2-3 rounds per game. It was mildly frustrating that regardless of the game having 15 total minigames it filtered me through the same 3 games a few times to explain how the competition system works. Trust me, the competition system is awesome, but the tutorial seemed to have lagged on longer than it actually did by doing the same thing over and over again.

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So, each minigame you play will have a set of rounds to it that will be either timed or ongoing until completion. For instance, the Parachuchu game lasted until all 4 party members hit the ground in one way or another. Then, on the other hand, games like the Big-Top Hippity Hop were timed for who could last the longest. After the goal of the minigame has been completed you will replay the game 2-3 more times and it will gather a final score of the competitors.

One thing that was super cool was the random prizes your host, Fox, would pass out at the end of the matches. The overall winners will receive crowns, but there is also a chance to win some coins by acting up. Deer Dave got a prize for some coins just for being the best “thrasher” because he slammed into other players the most! These prizes are definitely a learn-as-you-go system though, as they aren’t revealed in one way or the other if and when you can earn them, they just happen.

Finally, after your party has played a few of the minigames a final winner will be chosen. When this happens you collect the bragging rights amongst your friends and the game starts over! This means there isn’t really a way to collect hundreds of coins (that I’ve been able to do anyway). That’s not a bad thing either because it keeps the competition constantly refreshed and alive!

Scandalous, Fox. Just scandalous

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And Fox doesn’t just stop at random prizes at the end of the game. Throughout the game, he’ll attempt to ruin your friendships in the most hilarious ways by giving players “Secret Missions” to sabotage their friends. These missions come complete with either goals, powerups or both! Fox will pick the oddball out whether it’s cause you have the least coins or crowns and offer you a back-alley deal to change that for yourself!

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Your entertainment comes from playing the games and he comes in to make a game out of you. Where the first minigame round will be held to the full standards of the rules, the next round might have some added bombs to it. Whoever is holding the bomb when it goes off instantly loses the round, but that doesn’t take you from the fight.

Losers are given special sabotage options they can use on any one of the other players for as many times as they wish. There is a short cooldown to these options, but not a long one. Deer Dave knocked me out of the race and I made sure he shortly followed by consistently hitting him with a freeze ray.

Buy your way to the top

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Last but not least, there are also auctions between minigames. Here Fox will advertise 3 items and each player will get one chance to choose a single item and bid a number on it. If you are the only one to bid, congratulations! You get that item!

However, if you and another player both choose the same item it comes down to who blindly paid the most coins for it. You never want to bid all your coins in one go to secure a single power-up, as there will be another auction at the end of the next minigame!

So choose your battles wisely, and keep your battle plans a secret from your friends!

You’re going to want this

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There isn’t going to be a scenario here where I tell you this isn’t a game you want. In fact, I absolutely recommend you making this janky Fox your best friend of all time. If you’ve got a family game night or sleepover planned, invite Frantics to it.

Join the experience of laughter and utter hilarious betrayal with your new furry friends, it’s only $19.99 on the PlayStation Store. What are you waiting for?!

See on PlayStation Store

See on Google Play Store

PlayStation 4

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