Nintendo Nintendo Switch

LOL Surprise Movie Night Is Anything But A Laugh

lol surprise movie night title screen
Courtesy of Nighthawk Interactive

LOL Surprise Movie Night

Publisher: Nighthawk Interactive, MGA Entertainment
Release Date: October 26, 2021
Available as: Digital and Physical

Toys And Gaming Should Go Hand-In-Hand But It Sadly Does Not

I dodged a bullet last year when it came to LOL Surprise! Remix: We Rule the World, the first game in the LOL Surprise! toy series. Any game based on an existing toy line is usually not a good game and is nothing more than a "cash grab." The history of video games and toys dating as far back to the older generation of consoles. In the past, there has been a negative stigma involving the combination of the two until the Lego series arguably changed it for the better. On the other side of the coin, companies like Nighthawk Interactive continue to make the negative stigma a reality with LOL Surprise Movie Night.

An immediate red flag is that the developers behind both LOL Surprise! games, Nighthawk Interactive, is primarily known as a publisher. Responsible for many ports including games by Devolver Digital, the rare instance they developed titles were the LOL Surprise! games. The first game in the series was a collection of minigames disguised as a story mode. Players could create their own dolls and engage in an adventure or something. I didn't play the first game, but that was my sentiment with everything in LOL! Surprise Movie Night.

LOL Surprise Movie Night minigame
LOL Surprise Movie Night - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

Be The Glitz Of The Glam In LOL Surprise! B.B #WorkItOrSomethingIDK

Before the player enters "L.O.Lwood" or whatever the "Hollywood" scene is, the player will create their own doll first. The available options range from skin tones, hairstyles, and clothing items, even though there are three options for each to start with. Once their doll is made, the story mode begins with the protagonist's dreams and aspirations of being a "movie star." The problems arise very quickly beginning with the dialogue.

I don't know what the developers of Nighthawk Interactive look like, but I can't help but think about a group of middle-aged men trying to be hip with a younger audience. All of the dialogue is filled with AAVE and "hip talk" sprinkled with "#BFFS" propaganda that made me roll my eyes back to my skull. If I wasn't recording for the sake of the video, I'd skip all of the dialogue as quickly as I could. I'd turn the game off completely if it was up to me, but, the dialogue is only a small part of what makes the game a LOL Surprise!

LOL Surprise Movie Night cutscene
LOL Surprise Movie Night - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

OMG B.B Go Play Memory Games And Make Popcorn! #GoodVibezOnly

From the beginning, the range of mini-games is as expected as a cash grab such as LOL Surprise Movie Night. One of the first mini-games players will engage in is a very simple memory game. Players will have to match the "emoji" with the ones the player is given, up to five tries in total. Another minigame will have a player go against a CPU as they press the button shown at the right time. Each location has specific minigames depending on the location, such as the theater having a concessions-style minigame.

Even that minigame is simplistic in itself as all the player needs to do is pop the popcorn, load the popcorn, and add the flavor the CPU requests. I can imagine in higher difficulties, the speed and intensity will provide a challenge. However, the problem lies in the player needing to win as many games as possible to reach that point.

movie night popcorn
LOL Surprise Movie Night - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

A positive that I can chalk up for LOL Surprise Movie Night is its graphics, matching the colorful plastic-ness that is expected with the toyline. I may not agree with the aesthetic, but it's accurate with the toy's aesthetic. It doesn't matter what meshes well with my tastes as I'm fully aware that I'm not the target demographic. Younger players who love LOL Surprise! however, will enjoy it for themselves.

These Subheaders Are Annoying But Imagine Seeing This Nonstop In LOL Surprise!?

Outside of the minigames, the player can decorate their loft by adding furniture earned from minigames. They can also buy furniture from the store as well as clothing items with their earned coins. Unfortunately, no amount of clothing items can prevent your LOL Surprise! doll from looking "normal." At the same time, the game encourages you to have a character look as cheap and gaudy as the other NPCs that are featured in the game.

movie night overworld
LOL Surprise Movie Night - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

Overall, there isn't much that sets LOL Surprise Movie Night apart from other children's games we looked at in the past. Returning to the "two sides of the same coin" analogy, if LOL Surprise! is the dark side, then Hot Wheels Unleashed is certainly its lightest. The latter is an example of a game utilizing a toy IP to make an amazing video game without losing its soul. The former, unfortunately, is clearly a game made to cater to kids. The game comes with an "exclusive" LOL Surprise charm and that's worth more value than this game ever could be.

LOL Surprise Movie Night is available on the Switch.

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