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Ultimate Party Challenge
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 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.
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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?
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