Family Party: 30 Great Games Hands-On

One guess as to how many games are packed in Family Party.

At D3's press event in San Francisco, we had the opportunity to play almost half of the minigames in Family Party: 30 Great Games. The games are similar to what you would see in a Japanese game show, so there were bridges to fall from, paper to jump through, and, of course, giant blue helmets to protect everyone's noggins should they lose their balance. Up to four players can abuse each other in these minigames, so we jumped right in to see what this game had to offer.

Kid, don't try this at home.

There is a single-player Challenge mode where you'll play a random set of games so that you can unlock all the minigames for Battle mode. Because all the games were unlocked, we were able to jump straight into the battle and pick our character profile, which ranged from a guy in a dogsuit to a really old grandmother named Sophia. There are 12 character profiles to choose from, three of which you have to unlock. Some of the characters look quite ridiculous in their outfits, which only add to the flavor and theme of the game.

In Battle mode, we were able to select six games at a time, so you can play them consecutively without having to jump around menus. There are five themed areas: muscle, athletic, castle, shooting, and variety. Some of the minigames required that you use the same controls, but from the games we played, there seemed to be a decent selection of random challenges to keep you on your toes. There were a couple of minigames that involved running by shaking the Wii Remote up and down. You can use the A button to either jump over hurdles and gaps in the platform or the B button to jump through a wall of paper. There was a minigame that had you holding the Wii Remote sideways where you alternated between the D pad and the 2 button to get your character to walk across a teetering platform. There was another game that was similar, but instead of racing to the end, each player takes turns crossing the bridge while the other players fire cannonballs at you. You do have a shield to block, but depending on how accurate your opponents are, you can get knocked off completely. The trick is to just keep moving because it's always more difficult to hit a moving target.

A few games that we came across required using a bit of brainpower rather than wiggling the remote. There was a counting game where the counter went up to five, and you have to count to 10 in your head then swing the Wii Remote downward while holding A to stop your counter. It gets harder because the next two rounds involve counting to 20 and then 30, but you only get a five-second counter to get you started. You can try to fake out your opponent by just swinging the remote, but you're better off focusing on counting. There was a bird-counting game where you had to count the number of different birds that flew across the screen. Each time you see one, you can click the counter, but you have to remember which species you've seen before.

Good wholesome family fun.

Family Party: 30 Great Games looks to be a silly and entertaining collection of minigames, although it's hard to compete against other games that have at least twice the number. The controls aren't as tight as they should be, and the visuals are fairly simplistic. But it's still early, so we hope to see some changes before the game is released. Family Party is scheduled to come out by the end of the year.

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Discussion

19 comments
dbkelley
dbkelley

I use the wii for serious gaming and family gaming, it does both just great if you buy serious games for it and family games for it. Obviously this is for light family entertainment. nothing wrong with that concept, but it does sound like it's a bit dull and unimportant. For great family mini games get raving rabbids (both 1 and tv party are very fun) and for serious games buy the 50 or so amazing serious games out there for the Wii. For me it's the NFS series, fighting games and multiplayer war games (Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 is amazing with dozens of players online in the same game at once on the Wii). I also prefer sports games on the wii to other consoles, Fifa 09, Madden 09 and Tiger 09 are simply amazing with motion control. For games that rely upon amazing visuals to keep the player's attention, buy a 360 or ps3... for games that keep your attention, buy a Wii (and skip the crap games like this one if you're not the type of family that plays board games together).

ninjarat
ninjarat

I'm with Jonzilla. We use the wii as a family & friend console. If I want serious gaming, then I use the PS3.

jonzilla_basic
jonzilla_basic

The Value Canderson is getting people and familys together playing games and enjoying family time together. Instead of everyone seperate and doing their own things. Zero family time means more problems in society.

canderson85
canderson85

screw the Wii and all these stupid minigames. This one just makes me angry. Pretending to saw a log with your wiimote? I don't see any value there

Feld0
Feld0

I'll play Mario Party 8 if I want minigames. It has nearly three times as many games as this "Family Party" thing. And they're all fun, too.

Sw0rDMaN
Sw0rDMaN

Here we go again with some Wii crap.All the games on the Wii are boring, they dont sell and they never get rented either. The only games that work are the mario ones or zelda.I hate the Wii! Piece of dead pony poop!

Neilo_
Neilo_

man i love shovelware, its so good, its like, wow. its that good. i mean how could they possibly make a better one than the last one?

wiifan001
wiifan001

Can you type "shovelware" with your eyes closed....AND in the duration not think about this game for even a moment? I sure can't, and it's not the eyes closed part that's the problem.

mikethemonkey
mikethemonkey

OHH BOY! I can't wait to saw big logs with my Mommy and Daddy! WTF???

g3ck089
g3ck089

Meh.. How many families out there has 4 members who are all willing to gather around and play mini-games? I know Father and Son is eligable, even some Mums and Girls. But i see this game as a bit too "Family" and not enough "Gamer" in it to be a best-seller..

GoldenGun
GoldenGun

@The_Moose427: Well the father is wearing a blue cardigan... lol. I'm glad to see the Wii is bringing families together around the TV instead of the kitchen table :P

Nutcracka
Nutcracka

Aah, all those pleasant childhood memories are coming back to me! Man I miss these everyday family activities! BTW Is this game aimed at the people of Pleasantville?

ocdog45
ocdog45

i guess something cool for hte family. never for me.

The_Moose427
The_Moose427

lol i like how the mother is in an apron. thats so sexist...

laherm
laherm

similar to a Japanese game-show haha