I got to know this game because I constantly check out game-reviewer sites. I remember seeing comments in places like IGN and Gamespot regarding the "issues" with the game about it relying TOO much on "random chance". I would expect such comments from those editors which, nonetheless, happen to be REAL hardcore gamers. But seeing this kind of comment from a website for families (common sense) some how disappoints me for various reasons.
"Complaining" about how the game depends too much on chance, is not taking into account what the wii is all about. I understand the hardcore gamers making this complain because as such, they typically want to play with other hardcore gamers to "see" who is the better one. To see who has more "skill" because it makes it more fun for them, etc..
Now that is totally acceptable in its own right. But complaining like this about a party game is simply looking at it with the wrong lenses. Allow me to explain.
People that criticize this aspect of the game, at least to me, have forgotten the hallmark of the wii: to gather families into one space again for all to interact REGARDLESS of their back round playing experience.
This being said, let's take into account that this is one of the wii's biggest criticism from the hardcores: That too many of its games are targeted at its casual players and not enough games for the hardcore. When I first read those reviews, I thought twice about purchasing the game. But with some pondering, I thought: "Hey. this is a great game after all". Why? Well, now let's take a look at an important point: THAT THIS IS A BOARD GAME!!!!! HELLO,
in many board games you do not win because of skill, but simply out of plain luck. Wanting to change this is trying to break the natural element found in boardgames in real life.
Now let me go into the game itself. If the game were to be based on Skill, then my 7 year old son would not be having the tons of fun he is currently having with my wife and I. For example, due to his young age, he tends to lose in many of the minigames. If the game were to take this into account, I would surely kick butt, not only his but my wife's as well. But this is not nearly enough to beat this game. which again, makes it awesome. They know I will win in many of the minigames but that they are also aware that they still hold a GOOD chance of winning regardless of my "better" experience in gaming.
At the end of every game, you can choose to turn on what is called: bonus stars. You see, basically, to win in these board games, it's really about who has the most stars. And if you managed to get some family members around the wii who have NO idea of how it works, then YOU would have the winning edge for knowing exactly how to get around in the board, for knowing which ride will take you where, for knowing when to use the candy, for reading the map well, and for knowing how to do the minigames. and because, unfortunately, to unlock many things in this game, you have to play it on single player, making you REALLY familiar with the game itself, and, as a result, giving you an advantage over FIRST TIMERS playing with you. It would make it a real drag for them. It would not be a lot of fun to play with someone like this (Hello? Now do you know why grandmas don't sit with their grandchildren to play call of duty, or Halo?)
But it turns out that at the end of the game,certain bonus stars are awarded. Here are some of them:
1. Who stepped on the most green blocks.
2. Who stepped on the most blue blocks.
3. Who stepped on the most red blocks. (this one is AWESOME because red blocks are BAD things to step on. So if a younger child had the misfortune of stepping alot of these during the game, now, thanks to this bonus star, he will be rewarded for it, by being given a "star".
4. Who bought the most candy
5. Who ate the most candy
6. Who got the furthest etc....
But at the end of every game, there will only be 3 of these stars RANDOMLY chosen. Making it even more unpredictable.AWESOME!!!!!!!! This means that that one or two players who had the edge over those first timers into the game might end up losing to the newbies. GREAT!!!!!
During the last five turns, the game carnival host even points out the one that is doing the worse, and gives him a boost by giving him/her an important piece of candy. And even lays coins around the board for those that might be getting "rocked". The mini games are even more awesome. Just last nigh my wife and I were playing and some minigames had us literally cracking up (the one that you have to play in teams to take an american football to a goal but can be punched or kicked away from you just as you can do to others: hysterical!!!
With this I hope I have pointed out how awesome this game is and why you SHOULD definetely look into buying this game if you do not already have it.
BUT I MUST WARN YOU: Many review webpages scored this low because they said that its the same Mario party game recycled over and over from years ago. So, if you already have previous mario party games, first rent it to see if its really a repetition.
But if you do not already own this, and you are looking for a great time with other caual players, non experienced players, or to play with small children with out them getting despaired, (just the other day my 7 year old son beat me, Im 31!!!!!) then this is the FAMILY game to buy.