A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a good party game for active kids of different ages to play together. While you can hit another child with a ball while playing dodgeball, or shoot a suction-cup arrow at another in a target-shooting game, no one is hurt. And younger children will like the single-player mode because in addition to playing the seven games, you also get to explore an expanding playground to collect marbles and stickers, take on dares, and play fun mini-games. Plus, it eases young kids into the games by having them beat the easy kids before letting them challenge the tougher kids.
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What's it about?
For some families, the Nintendo Wii is replacing classic board games as a way to bond during family-together times. Recognizing this market, Electronic Arts turned to the schoolyard as inspiration for its new party game, EA PLAYGROUND, which brings seven recess-type activities to your Wii.Kids play by entering a school yard and selecting a cute-looking cartoon kid to represent them. The activities range from traditional games like dodgeball, wall ball, and tetherball, to more innovative games like \"Kicks,\" which combines volleyball and soccer. To round out the mix, kids will also fly paper airplanes through an obstacle course, race slot cars, and shoot suction darts in a paintball-type target-shooting game
Is it any good?
What makes this compilation better than some of the other Wii party games is that up to four players can play together in a tournament format. Kids can select the number of rounds (up to 20), and then pick the order of the games, and the software keeps score. If two players are playing in the tournament, all the games can be played; but if four are playing, some of the games aren't programmed for that many players. And if a group of friends wishes to simply jump into the games and they don't want to play a whole tournament, there's a Free Play mode.Using the Wii remote to play these games works well because the controls are intuitive. To knock someone out in dodgeball, you make a throwing motion. To steer a slot car, you twist the Wii remote. But the real winner is the Kicks game, an novel four-person activity played on a volleyball court but with a tennis-height net. You kick the ball as in soccer, but set up the ball to your partner as in volleyball. However, when you spike it over the net, your goal is not to smash it to the ground, but rather to kick it into a goal.
This compilation of party games will appeal most to active kids who love the competition of games played in a playground setting. And it's the most fun when explored with up to three friends. Because of the variety of games it offers, EA Playground is one of those rare games where kids of different ages can enjoy it together.
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