Hasbro Family Game Night 2 Hands-On

The latest collection of Hasbro games features Mr. Potato Head as a gameshow host. Do you need to know anything else?


While the thought of playing classic board games on a console might be counterintuitive--why not just bust out your copy of Monopoly and play it the good old-fashioned way?--that hasn't stopped companies from translating classic games to digital format. With the upcoming Hasbro Family Game Night 2, EA is bringing a new batch of games to the Nintendo Wii and DS, though to their credit, the games are a bit more than simple direct translations of the old standbys.

The game will come with six games--Jenga, Operation, Connect 4X4, Bop It, and Pictureka--and, to the developer's credit, each of the games will have both normal and remixed versions to play. For example, in addition to the regular version of Jenga (where you take turns carefully removing individual bricks from a complex structure, hoping not to send the entire thing falling down), one remixed version mixes in a deck of colored cards, where players can only pull out pieces whose color corresponds with the color of the card they've pulled from the deck.

The centerpiece of the game is the Family Game Show, which is hosted by Mr. Potato Head. The preview version of the game we played featured work-in-progress voice-over for Mr. Head consisting mainly of grunts and chuckles and, as far as we are concerned, should stay exactly the same in the final version of the game. Family Game Show is a chance for multiple players to compete in all of the different games, while racing to compete a lap on the Family Game Show board, Trivial Pursuit-style. Players will take turns spinning a huge wheel to see which game they'll play, and winning a game will move your Mii avatar (which are supported in this version of the game) that much further around the board.

Whether you're competing in Family Game Show mode or not, it's the games themselves that are the real stars in Hasbro Family Game Night 2. Connect 4X4 is an updated version of the classic sequencing game, updated with different playing pieces. Bop It takes the ridiculous looking toy that is the center of the game and translates the moves to your Wii Remote--for example, when you hear "Pull it!" onscreen, you simply pull back with the Wii Remote. Pictureka is a simple find-it game, challenging you to find specific items or letters amid cluttered drawings.

Our favorite game in the collection was Operation, which uses the Wii Remote as the forceps from the rather gruesome kids' game from the 1960s. After locating the item you need to extract from the patient (such as a frog in his throat), you travel into the patient's body, grasp the object (by pressing the A and B buttons simultaneously), and then carefully guide the object upward and out of the body, making sure to twist the object to fit through angled gates, which are shaped like the object you're extracting. Failure to correctly extract an object causes the patient to "buzz," which is just as nerve-wracking in digital form as it was back in the day with the real thing.

Like its predecessor, Hasbro Family Game Night 2 is built on both the nostalgia of the classic games that are collected and each game's time-tested fun factor. The game will be released in late October on Wii and Nintendo DS.

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