What we know: Disney's Guilty Party is a Wii game that allows you to do some crime solving with friends and family, as clues are gathered by turns to try and figure out whodunnit. Mini games and analysis of the truth behind the testimony of the people of interest lead to finding the solutions to such mysteries as "Who ate my pudding?"
What we saw: There's a party on my Wii and everybody's invited! The party in this case is Disney's Guilty Party, a new family-friendly mystery-infused game for the Wii. This is the first title by Wideload Games post-acquisition by Disney, and immediately, you can see how in sync the project is with Disney's vision. Individual characters look and feel like Disney mainstays which are accessible, fun and inoffensive, while the game itself offers plenty of fun “crime” solving mini-games for kids of all ages.
Crime is really the wrong word to use for the types of mysteries in Guilty Party
. Our tutorial level was an exercise in figuring out who ate another character's pudding. This isn't Clue
. But that's okay because it helps set the mood for the various challenges you'll encounter while trying to solve the mystery. From waggling the Wiimote to dust for clues to entering into a staring contest with a suspect, the mini-games are easy to grasp and completely in the spirit of this world.
is played in turns as you move your character into different rooms to search for Clues. Clues open up mini-games which, if completed properly, yield potential evidence about the culprit. Ultimately, in order to figure out Whodunnit, players will need to properly ID height, weight, gender and hair length. Players can either look to solve a mystery cooperatively or competitively with the competitive game boasting a very interesting and downright diabolical mechanic. When you successfully receive a Clue from the game, it's presented with a portion of the text underlined. For example, one character may say, “Just before I saw
a tall person go into the pantry...” During this section, the Wiimote becomes a lie detector and if you highlight the text, it will either display that it is Truth or a Lie. This is seen by everyone playing the game. However, in the competitive game, you can secretly hold down the 1 button and highlight the text and it will display the opposite of what it is. This way, only the player who was entitled to check the clue knows the real outcome, keeping the other players guessing. What's even better is that you can set individual skill levels per player. This means I can show off by choosing Expert Detective to have harder mini-games and then promptly school any nine year old that opts for the Rookie mode. Take that, kid!
While the mysteries always revolve around the same event (a pocket watch is missing!), the culprits and clues are all intelligently designed by the game, offering a new game each time it's played. Games can take place in up to six different locations of various length, so a shorter game may only have a few rooms and Clues, while a Diabolical game will last for a long, long time. Be ready to channel your best Sherlock Holmes.
As a cooperative or competitive game, Disney's Guilty Party looks like a fun party game, and one that can easily bridge the gap between hardcore and casual players. As for solo gamers, let's just say there is still an air of mystery around its viability as a single player game. Considering the word “Party” in the title though, that's probably self-evident.
Disney's Guilty Party will be released for the Wii later this year.