Petanque, Boules, Bocce, lawn bowling, whatever you want to call it, this is the video game version of this family of outdoor sports. Petank Party is an Xbox LIVE Arcade Community Game as well as on the PC (I played the XBLA version) The game is far more popular here in Europe than much of the rest of the world. The game is quite simple to learn, hard to master in both reality and video game form. The goal is to throw balls as close as possible to the jack, which is another, smaller ball that’s thrown first to determine the playing field. When all the balls (3 per side) are thrown the score is determined. Whoever has one or more balls closer to the jack gets one or more points.
Ok, now that you’re all up to speed on how the game’s played, let’s get into Petank Party itself. The game offers both single player and multiplayer via Xbox LIVE or system link though it’s extremely difficult to find someone to play against online. When you start a match you get to choose some basic things about your character like what they look like. This isn’t an in-depth customization but it adds a little flavor. You also get to pick what your balls look like from Mars, to traditional to an eyeball. It doesn’t do anything for the game but again, flavor.
There are multiple ways to play Petank Party. You can play from one to three people per team. There’s standard petanque that has no magic balls or rules and uses full-sized balls. There’s Pure Petanque which has no magic and there’s Magic Balls mode which gives each team one special ball per match. The match can be played to 7 or 13 points of the best of 3. Finally, the game offers a choice of four playing fields though I’m not sure this has any bearing on the gameplay whatsoever.