Ultimate Party Challenge

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Ultimate Party Challenge Game Poster Image
Active party game almost lives up to its title.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The game shows you how many calories you ostensibly burned during each mini-game, and as that is usually a very low number, the game actually puts forth the message that active gaming is no substitute for real exercise. The game also encourages group play, since it is built as (and much more fun as) a multiplayer party game.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game encourages a fun active lifestyle. Losing players' avatars don't grumble and throw tantrums as they do in many other mini-game collections.

Ease of Play

There's a lot of variety in the gameplay, so there are bound to be certain events that will be harder than others for each player, but on the whole, the controls are very simple. The goals you must meet in some of the one-player challenges are a bit steep, but in multiplayer mode (which is the heart of the game), there's not really anything to complain about.

Violence & Scariness

There is only one out of the 40 mini-games that has any amount of violence to it, but even that is incredibly tame. Four player avatars stand in a line, facing the screen, each holding a brightly colored play sword. When cued, all the players stomp on a button. Then the screen goes dark, shows some swooshes of light, and then comes back to reveal three of the avatars falling down. Only the one who tapped first stays up. The whole thing seems set up as a pretend fight, with the avatars who fall "acting" out their demise. No one really looks hurt.

Language
Consumerism

This game requires a DDR dance mat controller to play. If you don't already own a DDR game for your Wii, you'll have to buy the $50 version rather than the $30 version. And although four people can all share the same mat for multiplayer contests, the game offers a "dual mat" mode for which you'd need to buy a second $20 floor mat.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this active multiplayer party game requires a Dance Dance Revolution dance mat controller in order to play. Families who don't already own a DDR game for their Wii will need to spend $20 more on the purchase of Ultimate Party Challenge. And children who enjoy the multiplayer, party-style play are likely to also want a second mat, as the game offers special "dual-mat" play modes as well. It's a hidden cost on an otherwise great game for kids.

User Reviews

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Kid, 8 years old March 3, 2010
I am just signing up for my 8-year-old. I haven't used it yet. She hasn't used it yet, either, so I can't give it a fair rating.

What's it about?

ULTIMATE PARTY CHALLENGE is a vast cornucopia of floormat-controlled mini games. Meant to be played in a group of four, these games will test players' rhythm, reaction time, coordination, and even math skills. Some of the events include: Sorting different-colored dinosaurs, shooting hoops, slalom skiing, milking cows, racing cars, riding pigs, jumping rope, quick-solving addition problems, chiseling sculptures, and performing skateboard tricks. Players can use coins won in the games to buy new costumes for their avatars.

Is it any good?

With so many mini-game collections on sale for the Wii, it's sometimes difficult just to tell them apart, but Ultimate Party Challenge deserves to be noticed, because it really is a standout of the genre, especially for younger players. While the need for a DDR floorpad can be annoying if you don't already have one, the use of the floorpad in playing these games adds a very fun active element not present in other mini-game collections. For games in which all four players compete simultaneously, each is assigned one of the four directional buttons on the floorpad -- and everybody standing together stomping their feet in close proximitiy is actually a whole lot of fun. There's a version of the old schoolyard game Red Light, Green Light, for instance, which is played out marvelously in this manner. The great variety among games also adds a lot of enjoyability to the experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the assumption many kids are making that active video gaming can take the play of real exercise. While active gaming is certainly better than sitting on a couch, moving nothing but your thumbs, can it really be enough to maintain good physical fitness? This game shows players how many calories they've burned as a result of playing. When you've just burned, say 0.06 calories, isn't it clear you still need to do more?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo Wii
  • Price: $29.99–$49.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Konami
  • Release date: December 3, 2009
  • Genre: Mini-games
  • ESRB rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence

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