So I started playing this very briefly the other day, to start getting my first impressions in place while I did the editing work on another review.

Instead, I ended up playing it the entire day, chewing through its arcadey campaign in what would have been "a single sitting" had my body's need for food not intervened.

That right there should tell you something. But I'm also, more importantly, going to tell you more things. Like actual facts, and information about the game. Conga Master Party!, hereafter referred to without its canonical exclamation point, is a game about one single concept. Making the best damn conga line you can.

How this manifests is sort of like if you made the incredibly expanded-upon sequel of that cellphone classic, Snake. Super Snake II Turbo, if you will. The game starts the same way, on whatever map you're on. The character you picked(each having different stats) bursts into the wild and crazy party, and starts, to, conga.

You've got two very important controls to master here, so separate and distinct that they're handled by entirely different hands. In your left hand, some kinda left shoulder button (L, ZL, SL on a single Joycon, whatever) will make your conga master turn counter-clockwise. And in your right hand, the pressing of such a shoulder button's counterpart will make said conga master turn, and stay with me, clockwise.

But if you press them both at once, he or she will, I'm not making this up, dash.

Yeah that's the entirety of the controls. You'll hit the A button to confirm some menu stuff, you'll hit the + button to pause, but actual gameplay, you've got left shoulder and right shoulder. This is important, because unlike that plain-jane apple-munching Snake, you don't turn on a dime or in the cardinal directions. Hold one of the buttons, and you'll go round and round in a circle, the tightness of which is defined by one of your character's stats.

This is key, because since you're not eating apples, you're conga-ing. And that means instead of crashing headfirst into your targets, you do...the exact opposite of that. By circling round and round and ensuring part of your conga line is within close proximity to a potential dancer, but without bumping into them, you convince them to join the conga.

And perhaps you saw that little detail. Part of your conga line can also convince them. So the game starts shifting away from its reptilian inspiration, in that a longer tail doesn't make the game harder, but instead more intricate. What starts as circling around a single dancer to even have a conga line, turns into long, spiraling patterns to snake (see what I did there) the mighty conga train through half a party, snatching up four or five members at a time.

I'm gonna level with you, I'm only like halfway through this review and the word "conga" doesn't even look real anymore. But stiff upper lip, as they say, for we must push on.

You might ask, then, where the challenge comes in. And let me tell you! You have...Eh, let's sum it up as three things. The first, is momentum. The conga line only stays fun, or "conga-riffic" as it's known in the professional conga industry (did I make that up? Yes, yes I did) so long as its endless hunger is continually fed with new souls. So your momentum bar steadily drains, and only by adding more dancers to the conga line can you refill it. But every new member makes the momentum drain a little bit faster, and makes the next member a little less satisfying, until you have to get three, four, five times multipliers just to stay ahead.

Your second risk? Shit you don't want to run into. Janitors whose mop-trails will make you slide, banana peels that you'll slip on and go sliding, and big buff dudes who'll punch you in the face, and...make you go sliding. Basically it's an entire category of slides. And lastly...are pigs.

Pigs are like dancers, in that they'll eagerly join your conga line if it stays near them long enough. But they're unlike dancers, in that adding them to the conga line is fraught with peril, and will drain some of your momentum from the sheer un-coolness, the congastrophe if you will, of having a literal pig in the conga line.

So you see how things get tricky. Not only do you have to avoid bumping into dancers, but you have to bump into pigs to make them step off, avoid mop trails and buff dudes and bananas, and all with the constant threat of everyone realizing they're in a god damned conga line in a year that does not end in "85", and need to stop immediately.

I've spent like 800 words explaining a game you can grasp in 30 seconds of play. I've done this in part because I thought I could make it really, really funny. But I've also done it because, at its core, Conga Master Party is all about the amazing execution of these mechanics. It's a true and pure example of arcade gameplay, a tightly focused minute-to-minute experience that would have kept you pumping coins into a mighty and intimidating cabinet back in the day.

And I haven't even talked about the multiplayer! There's multiplayer, for up to four players! With single Joycon support! And all the different little modes are all the names of other games turned into conga puns, which may be a plus or minus depending on how you feel about bad puns!

This is just...Look. Focus back on me.

The game costs ten dollars, or your local equivalent.

Is it worth that?

It is so very, very worth that. It is...I want to be clear, I don't give these out easily. And I really don't give them out easily for indies, since I prioritize polish and execution pretty highly to tip over that final hudle.

Yes, I'm talking about our rating system. You already saw it up top. Conga Master Party is, in fact, a must-buy. It is simple but pure, a game with mechanics simple enough that you can share them with damn near anyone. And then it takes that pure concept, and polishes it so bright that you could signal planes with it. Like, metaphorical planes. Don't try to use a digital indie game to signal actual planes.

...Just go buy it. Right now! Go go go!