Get the party started!
Party games. They always end up the same way. You go out for a few drinkies and then suggest to your pals that you go back to yours and break out the party games. After the initial ribbing about pinning the tail on the Donkey, you friends warm to the idea of some good natured, competitive Wii action. It is not until later when you are on all fours trying to pick up the pieces of a smashed Wiimote, that you realise quiet little Suzie cannot hold her alcohol and is a bad loser.
Then there is the other situation. The whole family is round for some occasion or other and, out of boredom, desperation, or both, you suggest that everyone enjoy some Wii fun. And it works. Everyone is enjoying themselves and having a great laugh with the party game. Except you, that is. Soon after turning the Wii on, you realise that you would rather be playing Halo Reach. But they won’t leave. So you end up having a Griswald style meltdown and throwing everyone out. Typical family gathering.
So, if you have to be put in a situation where you need to buy a new Wiimote, or you family insist that you attend “family therapy”, it had better be a good party game. Can Wii Party rescue your hardware and relationships through the power of fun?
Well, all of the ingredients are there. Take a selection of game modes, some new and some we have seen before, add a whole bunch of quick hit mini games, include a new concept just to spice it up, and you have the perfect recipe for a party game. Most people will already have a good idea of how party games work. Generally the players participate in a number of mini games and their success or failure translates to the overall game. As in other party games, Wii party offers a board game style interface, with players moving around the board and competing in mini games to gain the advantage. But Wii Party offers so much more than just the board game formula.
There are three different sections: Party games, house party and pair games. The board game can be found in the Party games section, along with other modes for up to four players including Globe Trot, where players travel the world earning photos, and Bingo played with card filled with Mii faces. If a mini game ball comes out, the winner of the mini game gets to choose which face to remove. Each of these game modes list roughly how long the game will take on average. The pair games section offers game modes for either single or two players, offering a co-op game experience. Balance Boat challenges players to balance Miis on the masts of a ship, without tipping the ship over. Each turn the players will have to successfully complete a mini game to be able to place matching Miis. Failure results in different sized Miis and a lopsided boat. Friend connection gives the players a quick quiz followed by a mini game. The results will offer insight into how well matched the players are as friends.
There are a lot of fun modes there, that will keep most party goers happy for a while. The fact that each game shows roughly how long it will last is very handy for the host and allows the players to choose a mode that will fit in with the attention spans of the players (It was very rare that we would finish a game of Mario Party for example. It always seemed to last too long and people just lost interest) But perhaps the most innovative games can be found in the House Party mode.
The house party section offers games for two to four players. These games make clever use of the Wiimote in a much more interactive way. A good example is Hide ‘n Hunt where all but one player leaves the room. That remaining player then hides the Wiimotes and invites the other players back. It is then a race to find the hidden Wiimotes, which will occasionally make a noise to help reveal their hiding place. Another of these games is Animal Tracker in which the players must identify the correct animal noise being omitted by the Wiimote, to match the on screen animal. These games offer something new and, to be honest, a whole lot of fun.
The problem with party games in general is that they lack depth and only seem suited to certain occasions. But every Wii owner out there should have at least one party game in their library with which to entertain friends and family. Wii party is very well put together and finished to an exceptional standard. Following on from games such as Wii Play and Wii Sports, it enables anyone to pick up and play without any prior knowledge or skill in video games. The controls are all easy to understand and the bright, simple graphics are inviting.
Party games are probably one of the most prolific genres on the Nintendo Wii, and Wii Party has jumped straight in as one of the best. With 13 games modes and more than 80 mini games, Wii Party offers everything the player could want from a party game, in a family friendly package.