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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
It's a party game best enjoyed in groups of two to four players.
Violence & Scariness
A bow, a gun, and a laser are used (but not seen) in games that involve shooting at fruits, cardboard animals cutouts, and UFOs. Another game has players shooting balls at a competitor who is trying to cross a bridge. A couple of games let players try to bump each other out of the way.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a highly affordable party game suitable for all but the youngest of family members. The majority of its minigames see up to four players shaking and tilting their remotes in an attempt make their onscreen avatars run, jump, crawl, or keep their balance. A handful of the 30 games involve a small amount of cartoonish violence, such as avatars running into one another, or being beaned by balls. Also note that while a few games in the "Shooting" themed area have players pretending that their remotes are bows or guns, all of the targets are inanimate, consisting of fruits, UFOs, or cardboard animal cutouts.
Is It Any Good?
Priced a hair under $20 and with some 30 distinct activities, Family Party is one of the most attractive party games currently on store shelves. Unlike many titles in the category, which feature as few as half a dozen minigames and are often plagued by technical glitches, Family Party offers up dozens of well-designed games, many of which make great use of the Wii remote's motion sensitivity, including several in which players must shake the remote to run, then perform secondary and tertiary movements to, say, jump, crawl, or maintain balance. Some of the activities can be a little confusing at the start (pre-minigame instructions would have benefitted from the sort of video tutorials seen in more expensive party games), but it generally takes just a single play to get a good feel for each challenge.
What corners were cut to keep the price so low? For starters, the presentation seems kind of cheap. Aside from a couple of unlockable games and avatar skins, there really isn't much in the way of rewards, nor is there any form of statistics or performance comparison, save a simple leader board for each game. And with no story mode through which to progress, there's not much reason to play alone -- especially since the game's computer controlled competitors have been poorly calibrated (they can be buffoons in one game and unbeatable in the next). Still, the majority of minigames are a blast if you have a couple of people with whom you can play, and that is, after all, the chief criteria by which one should evaluate a party game.
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Our Editors Recommend
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