You can’t celebrate the new year without a proper party, so let’s throw The Ultimate Celebration! It will be dark soon, so you need to hurry up and gather all of your friends. Your twenty friends are a rather varied bunch, including a jellyfish, an angel, and even a snowman, so finding where they’re all hanging out won’t be easy and you’ll need to hurry if you want to watch the shooting stars together with all of them.
There is more to The Ultimate Celebration than meets the eye, and fans of a certain other indie platformer in particular will very likely enjoy this one, but at its core this is a fantastic little exploration platformer with a remarkably frantic pace. While there is no timer on-screen, there is very much a strict time limit in which to find all twenty of the friends. Thankfully, the game does a great job of conveying the passage of time in multiple ways; the sky will get darker, the stars will start to fall, the music will gradually shift, and even the dialogue the friends say when you’re near them will change after a while.
I’ve brought up the time limit rather frequently at this point and that is in large part because it is both the only real obstacle and a very difficult one to overcome – I won’t say exactly how strict it is, but it’s a reasonably safe bet that you’re not going to be finding all twenty friends on your first attempt, nor even on your second or third tries. Enemies can’t actually hurt you, but they can knock you back and will frequently be more than happy to shove you off of a platform. Likewise, springs, conveyor belts, moving platforms, and all sorts of underwater hazards exist to hinder your attempts at throwing your party.
This is a game which is designed from the ground up for replayability. Though you may fail the first few times, the positions of the twenty friends are static and knowing where they are in advance is essential (I also ended up making a list during my attempts to make it easier to keep track of which ones I had actually encountered). The Ultimate Celebration has a very small world to explore, but it is also an extremely dense and interconnected world. Right from the start there are no less than three different paths to choose between and those paths in turn soon split into two or three more paths; figuring out an efficient loop for friend-collecting is just as important as finding the locations of the friends in the first place and the amount of alternate routes and one-way shortcuts crammed into such a small area is more than a little impressive. Even when you finally manage to collect all twenty friends, there is a counter at the end to show how long you took so the incentive always exists to find more efficient paths and do things more quickly in order to get a better speedrun time.
There exists a side to The Ultimate Celebration which I have avoided talking about directly, and it is for this reason that I have not included a video with this update (though I may upload one to my YouTube channel in the near future for anyone who would prefer to watch the game instead of playing it). While I won’t give it away, I can say that this aspect of the game not only may very well make it worth playing even for those who do not care for platformers, but it also serves to enhance the platforming elements without interfering with them.
With its high replayability, fantastic sense of atmosphere, solid platforming, and a bit more depth than it lets on, The Ultimate Celebration is the perfect way to ring in the new year.