Tamagotchi Party On! Hands-On

What happens when Tamagotchi invades the Wii? A presidential election!

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Namco Bandai's upcoming Tamagotchi Party On! for the Wii offers a new spin on the virtual critters. The game drops you on the tamagotchi planet and lets you play as one of the creatures in a bid for presidency. The goofy premise is framed in a board-game experience that sends you through cities across the planet. The result so far is a game that's one part Mario Party and one part WarioWare, with buckets of cute thrown on top. We had the chance to get some hands-on time with the game, and it has a quirky charm.

Those loveable tamagotchi are back, but at least this time you don't have to clean up after them.

You'll find two main experiences in the game: single-player and multiplayer. The single-player game is a career-style mode that finds you guiding the tamagotchi avatar of your choice as it vies for presidency against three CPU opponents through six cities. Apparently, the electoral process on the tamagotchi planet is a little looser than that of the democracy we know, and is suspiciously like prom elections. You'll have to win the masses over to gain popularity, as well as have gobs of cash to trick out your campaign headquarters and make sure you're wearing cool gear. To accomplish all this, you'll progress through each city via a board-game-style path, and the spaces you'll land on will contain shops where you can spend your cash on HQ goods or clothing.

The 15 types of minigames will range from fishing, scooping ice cream, setting clocks, shaking hands, giving speeches, and several others that will vary in difficulty. In addition, you'll find gotchi games, which are twitch-based games that will play out on an interface that mimics the electronic tamagotchi egg toys, where the digital pets first made their splash on pop culture. The random events are hit-or-miss affairs that play out via short cinematics that show positive campaign moments, such as when you help clean up a park and gain support, or scandals, such as when you eat snacks bought with campaign funds, which reduce people's faith in your abilities. You'll move around to these various spaces according to the number on a set of dice, which are set in motion by bopping the air with the remote and moving an in-game hammer to knock them around. Your goal is to be the first to make it to a point on each city map while having the most popularity. If you succeed, you'll become president.

The multiplayer game follows the same basic structure as the single-player game but lets any combination of four human and CPU players compete against each other. You'll also have to contend with a dreaded slot machine that pops up when you land on the same space as an opponent. Depending on the outcome of the machine's roll, you'll either gain or lose popularity, cash, or both from your opponent.

Control in the game is solid and relies exclusively on the Wii Remote. You'll use an onscreen pointer to navigate, and you have to hold it in a variety of WarioWare-style positions for the various minigames. The gotchi games will require you to use the remote's D pad to make choices.

The visuals in the game are simple and sport the now-trademarked minimalist look of the previous tamagotchi games. The cities benefit from a more detailed appearance that's in the same vein as the tamagotchi art, but they offer a more robust look. All of the above is given a soft, cel-shaded look that's brightly colored and moves smoothly.

Party On! won't exactly hurt the Wii's reputation as the system for group gaming.

The audio is solid, albeit spare. You'll hear bouncy tunes and a modest amount of effects for the various minigames. You'll also hear a funky helping of gibberish that passes for tamagotchi speak as you interact with the locals.

Based on what we've played, Tamagotchi Party On! is a game with a quirky charm that should appeal to the younger set or anyone looking for some minigame action. The game's varied use of the Wii Remote is smart and works fairly well. The variety between the minigames and gotchi games is different enough to keep things interesting as you play, and the multiplayer is cool, albeit a touch slow going. In addition, the ability to collect the various gotchi, as well as the minigames and unlockable tamagotchi avatars, offers a decent amount of content to open up. Tamagotchi Party On! is slated to ship later this year for the Wii.

Discussion

22 comments
Sorakid1994
Sorakid1994

This sounds like a hybrid of Mario Party and WarioWare for kids.

pdo4545
pdo4545

they made tomagatchi 4 wii?!?!?

Terry_Foxman
Terry_Foxman

The thing is that i dont think the Wii is focusing on the demographic that go for fps's. If you want an fps go to the 360 that is only fps. The wii cant compete with Sony and Microsoft so they have to focus on other areas. Im sure there will be more fps but they will be slow and coming , and i really do hope that they do have more memorable games. BTW tomagochis were great when they were the little hand held things. The big screen tomogachi is a bit foreign to me and im way past that age anyway, but great reminiscing at least

angelinkorn
angelinkorn

Wow, I LOVE TAMAGOTCHI STUFF!!! I hope it wont get all stupid after 10 minutes. Just like animal crossing A.K.A ewww!

JuniorXL4
JuniorXL4

Another childish game ha not suprised

Morhavoc_IRL
Morhavoc_IRL

one question.....WHEN IS THIS OUT! if this game doesnt get **** up it could be great, it could also last about an hour but im willing to take the risk with somethin this cute and seemingly fun. have to agree with the guy below me tho on lack of older aimed games for the wii. we need scarface,NOW!

ryanblomquist
ryanblomquist

Ya seriously we need some more mature games for the Wii, we need more fps's. Red Steel was ok but was way to buggy. Nintendo is on a good streak here with the Wii, hopefully they wont f@*# it up like they did with the GC with a lack of "good" memorable games.

kerensky287
kerensky287

Ugh. Can we have a good Wii game that ISN'T a party game? How about fine-tuning the FPS concept, huh? I want another Time Crisis!

cobrax80
cobrax80

i remember these, i never though they would make a comeback.

katamari
katamari

Might appeal to the younger set. I'll pass on this one.

uberjannie
uberjannie

I remember when i had a Tamagotchi when i was young. It was bloody awsome :)

Pangster007
Pangster007

My sister plays tamagotchi on the NDS. This game looks like it'll appeal to her.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Definitely something for much younger gamers.

Beymaster1
Beymaster1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

TintedChimes
TintedChimes

seriously, stop coming out with mini games, give us stuff more like twilight princess...there's going to be an influx and its going to water the whole genre down.

lilaviel
lilaviel

It would take a miracle to convince me that this lame excuse for a game is anything else but pure rubbish.

Obi-Wan
Obi-Wan

"What happens when Tamagotchi invades the Wii? A presidential election!" aka totally messed up..

StarFoxCOM
StarFoxCOM

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ranman1990
ranman1990

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

bryehngeocef
bryehngeocef

Just what Wii needs. More party games aimed at a younger audience.