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 title is suitable for all ages and promotes social gaming for groups of up to 16 players. The controls are remarkably simple and intuitive, which means everyone from a kindergartener to a grandparent can compete and have fun. Plus, kids will learn rules for a variety of real world games, including darts, horseshoes, and shuffleboard.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Among the many sports party games released for the Wii, few are as instantly accessible, well designed, and just plain fun as GAME PARTY 2, a collection of 11 backyard and gameroom activities suitable for children, parents, and even grandparents. It has nearly twice as many games as its predecessor, adds a tournament mode that supports up to 16 players locally, gives users the power to create their own avatars and earn unlockable rewards for playing well in each game, and features wonderfully intuitive controls that just about anyone ought to be able to figure out in minutes. If your family likes party games, it's a no-brainer.
The first thing most players will notice about Game Party 2 is how simple it is to start playing. Menus are uncomplicated, providing straightforward, efficient instructions and quick access to all game modes. What's more, all of the games are remarkably easy to learn. Game options include: Lawn Darts, Skill Ball, Hoop Shot, Trivia, Darts, Puck Bowling, Horseshoes, Shuffleboard, QB Challenge, Ping Cup, and Beanbags. Instructions typically consist of a single screen that shows a diagram of a hand holding a Wii remote in before and after positions. Darts, for example, requires players to hold the remote like a real dart while pressing the A-button, then make a throwing motion. This shallow learning curve applies to all of the games, whether they involve tossing beanbags, sliding pucks, or shooting baskets.
Is it any good?
While the activities are uniformly easy to learn, many are surprisingly challenging to master. Getting the right amount of force for shuffleboard and horseshoes takes time and practice, as does getting your aim just right in darts and puck bowling. And with multiple variations on several of the games -- there are five different ways to play darts, for example -- the chances of players growing bored after just a few plays are remote. Toss in the new tournament functionality, which lets up to 16 people take turns playing in a variety of multi-game modes, including best-of series, head-to-head challenges, and marathon length winner-moves-on matches, and you have an almost perfect party game for big family shindigs.
The Wii's library has quickly become crowded with budget party games, but Game Party 2 stands head and shoulders above the vast majority of its competition.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about classic backyard and rumpus room games. What is it about these simple amusements that keeps them popular in a world ruled by glamorous sports and digital entertainment? Do you think the games' digital representations accurately reflect their real world counterparts? Are there any activities in the game that you have never tried in real life? Any you would like to try?
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