Family Game Night 4: The Game Show

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Family Game Night 4: The Game Show Game Poster Image
Latest in board game-inspired series uses a game show feel.

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Kids say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

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The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This game promotes the message that family game playing can be good, wholesome fun. Although this game only supports multiplayer for two players, families can participate in teams and take turns playing each mini-game. There is also optional, not required, support for motion camera accessories on the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, which encourages players to get up and move while playing.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While there are no strong role models in this game per se, the voice-over announcer is always full of words of encouragement for players, and this game helps to promote the idea that members of a family can be good role models as well.

Ease of Play

It is very easy for any player to pick up this game and start playing. There are five mini-games -- Yahtzee Bowling, Bop It Boptagon, Scrabble Flash, Sorry Sliders, and Connect 4 Basketball -- all of which have easy-to-understand rules and controls both with the traditional controller and with the Kinect (Xbox 360) or PlayStation Move (PS3).

Violence & Scariness

This game features variations of board games such as Connect 4, Scrabble, and Bop It, from Hasbro. It also is based on Hasbro's Family Game Night TV show. As such, the game can be seen as an advertisement for the board games as well as the TV show.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Family Game Night 4: The Game Show is based on the Family Game Night TV game show. Instead of two families battling it out, though, the game reduces the number of contestants to just one-vs-one. The game features larger-than-life versions of Hasbro's popular board games, including Yahtzee Bowling, the "Bop It Boptagon" and Connect 4 Basketball. You have to be able to spell to play Scrabble Flash, which is why the suggested age is at 8; however, younger children can play the other games. The game can be played using either traditional controllers or with the Xbox 360 Kinect add-on and the PS3 PlayStation Move controller.

User Reviews

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Kid, 11 years old February 5, 2012

What's it about?

FAMILY GAME NIGHT 4: THE GAME SHOW is based on the TV game show Family Game Night, which airs on digital cable and may not be familiar to many players. However, players can easily enjoy this game even if they have never seen the TV show. The game involves players competing through five board game-inspired mini-games: Yahtzee Bowling, Bop It Boptagon, Scrabble Flash, Sorry Sliders, and Connect 4 Basketball. The winning player for each mini-game receives a "Crazy Cash Card" which is worth a random amount of money. Once all five mini-games are complete, the Crazy Cash Card amounts are revealed and the player with the most money is crowned the winner.

Is it any good?

The one thing that Family Game Night 4: The Game Show has that distinguishes it from other Hasbro Family Game Night titles is the cohesion between the mini-games. That is to say, instead of each mini-game being played independently from one another, players can compete in "Game Show" mode, which entails playing through each of the mini-games, back-to-back. It makes it easier, and more fun for players to compete in all the board game activities at once. On the flip side, because the mini-games are meant to be played in the context of a rapid-fire game show format, none of the individual mini-games is extensively fleshed out. So, for example, instead of this game offering a full video game version of Yahtzee, there is only Yahtzee Bowling, which lets players create one Yahtzee hand before the game is over. The mini-games work when played in the entire game show format, but there is a sense of emptiness if players just want to play one mini-game at a time. Also, it would have been nice to play with four players instead of just two (or rotating in other players).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the two different ways to play this game. Do you prefer playing with traditional controls or motion controls?

  • Does this game make you want to buy the real-life board games?

  • Did any of the mini-games make you learn anything new?

Game details

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