Neighborhood Games Game Poster Image

Neighborhood Games



Eclectic party game looks good but has shoddy controls.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is a party game designed to be played competitively amid groups of up to four people.

Violence & scariness

One of the games is a barnyard water gun fight.

Not applicable

One of the games is a digital version of a branded backyard game called Ladder Golf.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Neighborhood Games is a collection of short, family-friendly games based on real-world activities, such as horseshoes and lawn darts. Players unfamiliar with these backyard sports will have the opportunity to learn their rules while playing the game. Very mild cartoon violence takes place in water gun fights between kids set in a playful barnyard environment.

What's it about?

NEIGHBORHOOD GAMES is a collection of 24 quick and simple activities with roots in real-world backyard pastimes. The single-player mode features five categories of games, including lawn darts, bocce ball, basketball, horseshoes, and shuffleboard. Beat the computer in any game and you'll unlock a new variation (win in horseshoes, for example, and you'll be able to play battle horseshoes and, eventually, horseshoe herding). With each victory, players take home new clothes for their customizable avatars. Defeat the computer three times and you'll be declared a \"Master\" of that activity.

The five classic backyard games featured in solo play are also available in multiplayer, along with nine others: golf, tennis, football, water gun fights, remote control truck races, remote control plane flying, a slingshot challenge, a batting game, and a digital version of the branded backyard game Ladder Golf, which involves tossing balls connected by a rope at a three-rung ladder. Up to four players can take part in most of the games, with tournaments organized as either best-of-three matches or winner-moves-on competitions.

Is it any good?


The Wii has no shortage of backyard game compilations, but most of them are mediocre at best. At first glance, Neighborhood Games looks to stand out from the pack, offering a large and highly diverse collection of activities. What's more, it has a pleasant aesthetic targeted directly at children. The neighborhood settings are detailed and realistic (you can occasionally hear car alarms going off in the background and see moving vans driving along the street behind play areas), and the customizable, big-headed kid avatars animate and emote nicely.

Alas, the experience is scuttled by unresponsive motion controls -- an unfortunately common issue among Wii party games. The majority of games (lawn darts, bocce ball, horseshoes, Ladder Golf, and all of their variations) make use of an underhand tossing motion, but the software has a tendency to register wildly varying levels of movement; make what feels like three identical tossing motions and you'll likely wind up with three very different results. It can be extremely frustrating. Thankfully, some of the other activities -- including the slingshot challenge, water gun fights, and the batting game -- feature less irksome interfaces.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the diversity of games featured in this particular collection. Which stand out as your favorite and least favorite? Can you detect a pattern in the ones you like? Do you tend to gravitate toward games in which you excel, or that have accessible controls? Did your opinion of the real-world versions of these games affect how much you enjoyed their digital reproductions?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii
Available online?Not available online
Release date:January 12, 2009
ESRB rating:E for Mild Cartoon Violence

This review of Neighborhood Games was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old July 11, 2009

good game but

i agree with the wiiviewer the contles were easy for me eceppt for the basketball round like he said i dont know whats stupider the guy who put his hoop next to a bonch of cars or the guys who parked by a hoop
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old February 1, 2009
this place is fun you get to play games in fact on the weekend you might not go to bed until 5:oo in the morening you'll have lot's of fun and dont worry this games are not rated r so you get to pick games your age if you wont i think the other games are for teens like some of the titles that look for older but in way the games are fun you'll have lot's of fun all i can say is enjoy!
Adult Written byWiiPlayer49 January 21, 2009

Neighbhorhood games, I liked it, found the controls very accurate

I really enjoyed this game. The CommonSense review was pretty good but I disagree with the comment about the unresponsive controls. I found them to be very accurate. Perhaps they're not "dumbed down" enough for small children but once you get the hang of it you can place the darts and such very well. I was able to play through till the last level in Water darts for instance, a game where you have to throw darts at targets in a pool, some of them add points, some subtract. Every 40 or so seconds the pattern changes, the good targets get smaller and closer to the bad ones and you have to get more points to pass to the next level. Once you get down the differences in throw effort needed to place the darts it becomes second nature. Overall I really enjoyed the variety in this game and theres alot of fun to be had. What was suprising for a game that seems to be geared towards kids is how much real gameplay was here and the appeal for regular gamers. This is one you'll want to play with your kids, and maybe even when they're not around with your own friends. This game definitly shines best in multiplayer with 3 or 4 players. Its also very reasonably priced, hard to go wrong with this one.


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