A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wii Party is a mini-game collection designed for multiplayer use. There are solo modes here, but to really enjoy the game, it should be played, as the title suggests, with a full party. Several modes can not be played solo. As far as the content goes, it's all pretty tame. Slapstick violence occurs here and there, but there's nothing graphic.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
To call WII PARTY a mini-game collection would not do it justice. While mini-games are at the heart of the competition, this disc offers a staggering amount of different game modes. There's an island adventure boardgame, a globe-spanning travel game, a bingo game, a game show, a strategy matching game, and one- to four-player tournaments -- all of which incorporate Wii Party's 80+ mini-games. There's also a whole selection of games for pairs, including \"how well do you know your partner\" personality games, and a selection of party games for groups of more than four (in which the Wii remotes become literal playthings). Mii avatars are used in all the mini-games, which vary greatly in content. A few examples of the 80 mini-games: hurdle over rolling logs, shoot tin cans, chop carrots, race across a beach, smash into opponents while dressed as superheroes, play follow the leader, remember where hidden fruits were, guess which firework will explode last, and run to stay in a moving spotlight.
Is it any good?
Wii Party certainly lives up to its name. A group of people looking to play video games together will certainly get a good dose of entertainment out of this package. Sure, there are seemingly countless party games on the market, but none offer the sheer number of play options and variations that Wii Party does. Basically, Wii Party does for virtual boardgames what Wii Sports Resort did for active gaming: It offers loads of variety and simple-to-pick-up fun in a clean, crisp, and colorful presentation. Some modes are more original than others (the die-rolling boardgame is reminiscent of Mario Party, for instance, but the Mii-based, color-matching strategy game feels totally fresh). And the controller-based party games (like playing "hot potato" or "hide-and-seek" with the remotes) feel a little lame compared to the actual video game you've got here. But with this many choices, you can simply ignore the modes that don't appeal to you and still have a huge set of options. The mini-games themselves are nicely varied and the controls all work really well -- something third-party mini-game collections never seem to get right.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about playing video games as a group. Video games are often thought of as solitary activities that stifle children's social growth. Do party games like this help negate that image?
How can a video game bring a family together? Do parents feel out of place playing their children's games? Do kids feel awkward or embarrassed playing in front of their parents? How can each group help the other to feel at ease and enjoy themselves?
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