Wii Party ReviewBy Dana Vinson - Posted Oct 11, 2010
Nintendo is bringing you more motion control party game action with the new mini-game collection Wii Party. With over 80 games, Wii Party is fun and there's a ton of variety, but, unfortunately, we've seen it all before.
- A robust collection of modes and mini-games
- House Party Mode is an interactive and interesting use of the WiiMote
- Easy to jump into the fun
- There's nothing groundbreaking about Wii Party
- Some of the Party Modes are needlessly complicated
- Mini-games repeat mechanics and can feel monotonous
If you think party games are superfluous, then Wii Party isn't for you. The game isn't groundbreaking and there's nothing in it that would suddenly convince you to enjoy party games; however, if you occasionally like to shake the WiiMote around and sort fruit, then by all means, read on.
So, Uhh, You Wanna Party?
Wii Party is a light-hearted romp through 80 different mini-games, wrapped up in an impressive selection of modes: Party Games, Pair Games, House Party and Free Play.
Party Game mode allows you to play an assortment of mini-games inside a bigger game. These are designed to be your four-player party adventures of sorts, by giving you the chance to compete against others in small battles as well as an overarching metagame.
With a few different variations, the Party Game modes make up the bulk of Wii Party. Some of them make more sense than others. For instance, Board Game Island is a Mario Party clone where you travel around a giant board game, rolling dice and playing mini-games along the way until a winner is declared. This one is rather than straightforward and pretty self-explanatory.
On the other side of the coin is Globe Trot, where you and your competitors travel around the globe by collecting transportation cards with the objective of getting to designated shopping destinations to buy souvenir photos. It sounds simple, but there are so many steps in between starting the game and getting the photos that it turns into a barely comprehensible set of random events. The transportation cards make almost no sense, even to adults who pay taxes and drive on freeways. Plus, the worst part being that you barely get to play any of the mini-games while slogging through it.
The other Party Games -- Swap Meet (play mini-games to win the chance to match similarly dressed Midis), Spin-Off (a Wheel of Fortune like game show where players earn medals and spins by winning mini-games) and Bingo -- fall somewhere in between fun and WTF; however, all of them suffer from Mario Party syndrome in that you're playing to win, but random events will often get in your way. No matter how well you perform in the skill-based mini-games, you will often lose because a UFO comes and abducts you to last place.
Pick Up The Phone, The Donkey Is Calling
The mini-games are fun, even if the modes they're nestled in aren't always exciting or easy to understand. There is a free play option where you can challenge your friends to a string of challenges without all the flourish, and possible frustration, of the Party Games.
However, the place where Wii Party really shines is House Party mode. House Party utilizes your surroundings to play or uses the WiiMote as the focus of the game and it shows off some of the most innovative and enjoyable gameplay mechanics that Wii Party has to offer.
There's Hide 'n' Hunt where one person hides the WiiMote and other players try to find it; Animal Tracker where all the WiiMotes make different animal sounds and you have to pick up the one that is making the correct animal sound; and Time Bomb where you have to pass the WiiMote to different players without shaking it or pressing the wrong button (it's a weird game of hot potato).
House Party introduces some variety into the party game arena and even though there are only four modes in Wii Party, hopefully we're getting a glimpse as to where the party game genre is going. Anything that is more interactive and more innovative is always welcomed and, let's face it, makes for a better party.
Party Hats Only
Wii Party isn't as exciting as it could have been, but what it lacks in action, it makes up for with variety. There's a lot here if you like party games, or if you're a gamer with young children, so you won't be wasting your hard earned dollars if you decide to shell out for Wii Party. With the small exception of the House Party games, just know that you won't be getting anything revolutionary here.