A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
VACATION ISLE BEACH PARTY provides you with a virtual Polynesian island vacation, complete with beautiful beach settings and a docket full of fun activities. On the ocean, you'll get to try surfing, water-skiing, paddle-boarding, wake-boarding, and tricking out at a watercraft stunt park. Each event has multiple courses and multiple skill levels. On land, you can get moving to several hula and fire-dancing routines. In between, you can spend sand dollars you earn at the Surf Shack to buy new clothes and equipment. Up to four players can compete, but not simultaneously.
Is it any good?
Among the sports mini-game collections that are compatible with the Wii balance board, Vacation Isle Beach Party stands out for its excellent use of that peripheral device. Using the balance board feels so realistic and intuitive here, you wonder why using it never feels this smooth in other games. Some events will ask you to stand on the board sideways or even sit down on it. The games are all playable without the balance board, of course, and they're still fun that way -- just not as much so. It's also wonderful that you don't need to re-calibrate the board before every new event (other games on the market force you to do this, and it is annoying). As for the events themselves, they're all pretty enjoyable. Surfing and water-skiing are particularly fun. And the dancing is a blast. There isn't a huge number of events to play, but as each one offers three separate courses, that feels like less of a problem.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Polynesian setting of the game. In what part of the world does this game take place? What do the hula and fire dances mean to those cultures?
Does playing this game make you want to try any of the sports it features, like surfing, wake-boarding, water skiing, or even hula dancing? Are video games a good way to learn about new things you might want to experience in real life?
You can create an avatar to represent you in this game. Do you like to create avatars that resemble the real you? Or do you like to make them appear totally different?
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