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Nintendo Wii Review: Family Feud Decades

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Family Feud, the television game show, began its run in 1976. Over the next 30+ years it has been on and off the tube several times, the hosts have changed, but the premise of the show has stayed the same.

Ubisoft’s Family Feud Decades does its best to remain faithful to the classic TV game. That’s not to say it doesn’t try to shake things up just a bit. In an attempt to add some spice, it offers contestants the option to choose a decade from the ’70s through present day in which to play. The survey questions in the Wii game were used on the actual television show during whatever era is chosen and the look of the sets and characters reflect that era as well.  There is disco sparkle for the ’70s, mullets and stylin’ sunglasses for the ’80s, grunge wear for the ’90s, etc. In each period you can select your own avatar and are awarded way cool outfits for accruing points.

The gameplay is simple. Each team consists of three family members. Representatives from each family answer survey questions (i.e. “name an animal that growls,” “name something you put in a salad”). The first family to reach 300 points by matching the survey answers plays the Fast Money bonus round. Here two team members answer questions in a 15 second round. If they manage to score 200 points, their team wins the $20,000 grand prize. Yippee!

To answer questions, you use the Wii remote to point and click at letters on the screen. Since the clock is quickly running down, you are given a choice of words to use after you type in the first two or three letters. This expedites gameplay greatly and gives you a decent shot at getting your response in on time.

We never get a look at the host in this game but, really, who’d want to? He is as dull as a doorknob and probably never would have made it on the actual show. It would have added an extra element of fun had the game developers found a decent voice actor and given him some witty asides to toss out during key points in the action, but that does not happen. This is a mere quibble though about a game that is basically pretty good. Plus, there are three difficulty levels and 2,500 questions, so the replay value is high.

You can play Family Feud Decades as a single player but I wouldn’t recommend it; after awhile, flying solo is not much fun. You’re responsible for answering every survey question for your “team” and, if you get stumped, there’s no one to turn to for help. This final issue also holds true for the two player game. That said, Family Feud Decades makes an excellent party game, especially if six people are involved (you will need two remotes for the multiplayer options). The gameplay then more closely resembles the actual show, the competition level is higher and the whole experience that much more enjoyable.

If you’re looking for a party game for the Wii that’s fun, somewhat challenging and is one everyone will know, give Family Feud Decades a try.

Family Feud Decades is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for Alcohol and Tobacco Reference, Comic Mischief, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violent References. This game can also be found on PC.

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About Mindy Peterman