Everybody in the pool! Review

Everybody in the pool!

Love shack, that’s where it’s at

Huggin’ and kissin’, dancin’ and a-lovin’

Wearing next to nothing cause it’s hot as an oven!

The whole shack shimmies

The whole shack shimmies when everybody’s moving around and around and around!

(* lyrics by the B52’s)


if only that were the case with Chef’s Luv Shack. Chef’s original plan

was to use his gameshow idea to give young, vivacious, uninhibited swimsuit models

a taste of his salty chocolate balls. Due to unforseen circumstances, no swimsuit

models were available, so he had to make do with Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and (the reason

the show is so popular) Cartman. Pity for Acclaim that they didn’t get those models,

because those crass-talkin’ kids just aren’t enough to make this gameshow a hit.

Since the animation in South Park is crude, you just can’t expect much out

of the graphics for Chef’s Luv Shack. However, I expected a little more

than I got. While the mini-games are well done, the main gameshow leaves a lot

to be desired visually. Basically, it looks like a South Park episode, except

that all the characters have a total of about 5 animations. The PC version is

even worse than the others. Whenever Chef tilts his head to the side, it becomes

very pixeled and badly drawn. How can you make animation worse than South Park?

Thankfully, the sound is great. From Isaac Hayes’ smooth-as-silk voice to

the high pitched whining of Cartman, it’s all here. They even threw in the occasional

beeped-out tirade. There are a good number of guest appearances from other South

Park favorites as well. The game even opens with a quick rendition of “Simultaneous

Lovin" by Chef himself. Ooh, baby.

The gameplay is split into two parts: the gameshow and the mini-games. The

gameshow aspect is your basic trivia game. Playable with up to four people,

you have to ring in before anyone else and answer the question correctly. The

questions are categorized in much the same way as they are on Win Ben Stein’s

. With humorous categories but fairly serious trivia questions, Chef’s

Luv Shack
is a bit reminiscent of You

Don’t Know Jack
(the paradigm of PC trivia games).

Unfortunately, that’s the only similarity between Chef’s Luv Shack

and YDKJ. Where YDKJ had 800 questions in its original incarnation,

Chef’s Luv Shack has significantly fewer. You can only play through the

game about two or three times before questions that you’ve seen before return

like the plague. The obvious lack of questions really hampers this game’s replayability.

Where the gameshow fails, the mini-games shine. There are a TON of mini-games

in Chef’s Luv Shack. In between every round of questions, all the players

play a mini-game to earn more points. On top of that, random single player mini-games

will pop-up in the middle of question rounds. From tame pie-eating contests

to the aptly named “Spank the Monkey with Mr. Mackey”, to giving Cartman an

anal probe, the mini-games are pure South Park. They even mimicked some classics

(such as Championship Sprint, Asteroids, Donkey Kong, and Warlords), making

the mini-games easily the best part of Chef’s Luv Shack. M’kay?


connection between the mini-games and the gameshow leads to a couple of problems.

In order to play the mini-games, you have to play the gameshow, period; there’s

no option to just play the mini-games by themselves. I know for a fact that there

are several mini-games that I have yet to play, but I just can’t sit there reading

trivia that I’ve already answered in order to play them.

If you’re playing with a friend and are beating them handily, the game starts

giving your opponent mini-games that you can’t play in order to help them catch

up. While a close score is a good thing in most cases, excluding a player from

the game just to even the score is a lame tactic. You know, I could beat Kasparov

at chess if he just didn’t move for a couple of turns. Sheesh!

While the load time on the PC is better than the Dreamcast version, the PC

version has some major bugs that should have been eliminated. For example, while

the manual tells you the correct controls, the game itself will tell you incorrect

ones. Think that "Insert" is your buzz-in key? Think again.

On the two computers this game was tested on, there were graphical and programming

errors. On one, the top of the screen kept flickering. On the other, the entire

ending was always skipped. While it may work perfectly on some computers, it

might have some major problems on others. Can anyone say, "Rushed to Market?"

Good, I knew you could.

When Chef’s Luv Shack was first announced, I was expecting something

along the lines of Austin

Power’s Operation Trivia
(ie. with trivia based on the show). Thankfully,

they tried to use actual trivia, although not enough questions. The mini-games

are great, but since you can’t choose which one you want to play, you often

play the same ones over and over. Chef’s Luv Shack is a decent attempt

with some cool elements, but the game just doesn’t have enough depth. When push

comes to shove, Chef just doesn’t make a very good gameshow host . . . maybe

they should look into hiring Regis Philbin.

Spank this monkey's ass. M'kay?

  • Great Sound
  • Excellent Mini-Games
  • Bugs!
  • Not a Good Gameshow
  • Not Enough Questions


Upcoming Releases

Great Sound Excellent Mini-Games Bugs! Not a Good Gameshow Not Enough Questions
Great Sound Excellent Mini-Games Bugs! Not a Good Gameshow Not Enough Questions
Great Sound Excellent Mini-Games Bugs! Not a Good Gameshow Not Enough Questions