TGS 2005: Every Party Hands-On

We try our luck at Every Party, an exclusive Japanese launch title for the Xbox 360.


TGS 2005: Every Party is a multiplayer board game that is currently slated for Japanese release on the Xbox 360. The game, meant for one to four players, pits you against human or artificial-intelligence opponents in a race to the goal piece at the end of the board. Along the way, you'll encounter various prizes and traps that will aid or hinder you or your opponents. Each player starts off every single turn by spinning the wheel. On the normal wheel, the spaces are evenly separated and consist of the numbers 1 through 6, indicating how many places you will move. However, unlike traditional board games, Every Party gives you the opportunity to try a few different wheels, in case you've got a different strategy in mind. Typically, the main other wheel that you'll be using is the "lazy wheel," which has a few number spaces on it, but approximately half of which are adorned with only a star. If you land on the star space, you won't be able to move any places, but you'll instead receive the bonus from the space you're currently sitting on an additional time. This is beneficial if you've landed on a particularly profitable square; however, since the goal is still to reach the end before your opponents, it's not always wise to stop moving, even if only for one turn.

Each board has multiple routes, and you're able to select which route you'd like to take to the goal line. Some are longer but have more prize spaces; others are shorter but riskier. The prizes have both practical and decorative purposes. A lot of the collection consists of items, which are simply accessories used to personalize and adorn your character. Although you start off only being able to select one of a few characters, through gameplay you'll be able to change your appearance with items like hats, sunglasses, or guitars, if you're so lucky. The main reason for this is so that you can have a unique appearance when playing against other players online, and this presumably makes playing through the game in single-player mode worth it, if only to be able to show up to multiplayer matches wearing something particularly cool.

However, there's more to the game than just looking good. The other major collectable items are coins, which are given out on some squares, and can be used to purchase effects on others. For example, one wheel that you can unlock is called the "dream spin wheel," a large portion of which is dedicated to a square that will move you directly to the end of the board, bypassing all the other players and winning the game. This would sound a little unfair if it weren't for the fact that it takes 12 coins to give the dream spin wheel a go--and 12 coins are generally pretty hard to come by. "?" spaces offer varying rewards or punishments; whether you want to take the risk by landing on it is up to you. One of the more unique facets of gameplay comes in the form of the "chikarato." Essentially, if you land on a chikarato space, you can place a character on one of the white squares on the board. If another player lands on a space that has your chikarato, then they'll be punished, and if you land on your own, then you'll receive a reward. This is particularly interesting, because the chikarato are actual people, and they give different rewards and punishments and react with the player-characters in unique ways.

In fact, one of the most interesting aspects of the game is the visual style. The game was drawn by the well-known Japanese comic artist Sakura Momoko, and it certainly benefits as a result. Although a board game, Every Party still makes good use of the Xbox 360 graphics, although it doesn't push the limitations in quite the same way another genre of game would. The view is typically top-down, although when your character is moving spaces, you get to see him or her traveling full-sized around the board. The characters will also interact with each other or chikaratos, which you'll be able to witness a third person view of the scene as they converse.

Currently there are no plans for Every Party to come to the United States or Europe, although it is a launch title for the Japanese 360 release. Stay tuned for more information just in case Every Party is given to everybody.

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