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Nintendo Wii Review: Hasbro Family Game Night 2

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When presented with the opportunity to review Hasbro Family Game Night 2, I was thrilled. I am a complete game addict – including board and card games, not to mention I and my family adore our Wii system. What a better way to combine all of these loves, in one, than with Family Game Night 2!

This is a sequel to the award-winning Family Game Night which included Reverse Yahtzee, Battleship Barrage and Boggle. In this second edition, players will be treated to Jenga, Pictureka!, Operation, Connect 4×4, Bop It! and Operation. Most are familiar with the board game editions of many, if not all, of these games and will be curious to see how they are transitioned over to the Wii system, at least this was my case.

Once receiving the game, my family and I popped it into the Wii Console, did a bit of browsing around the game, to familiarize ourselves with the different aspects, and then jumped right in to playing. Before I get into more detail about the games themselves, I want to mention that Family Game Night 2 has a couple of different playing options. The first is basic free play, where up to four players can just pick any of the games and play them, the second option is Family Game Show Mode.  In Family Game Show Mode, players (up to four) take turns spinning a wheel, which contains the titles of all the games, in addition to a slot where a game will be randomly picked. Once the wheel stops on a game, players have the option to move the arrow one or two spaces, either ahead or back. The players are then instructed on the specific way the game is to be played – some are in turns, others are played at the same time. The winner of the game then moves around a board, which in turn lights up with that players color. The goal is to fill/win the most sections. In the end, there will be an award ceremony of sorts, complete with confetti and jiving.

Free play is just that, players competing in any of the chosen games, which each contain a bit of a remix and/or twist on the original board games.  There is also a single player option, which will allow the player to customize or dress up game host Mr. Potato Head, by unlocking additional face and body pieces.  I do have to say that Mr. Potato Head makes a fun and giggle-inducing game show host, the poor guy does get a bit out of breath as he runs up to the player wheel in the Game Show Mode.  

Now, on to the games.  There is some great potential here, but overall I was not blown away or impressed with this Wii version.  Pictureka is a game that is tons of fun on the computer, as well as the board game version and isn't half bad on the Wii.   It is probably my favorite, in this particular Family Game Night collection.  As in the original version, you are given things to look for within a board containing several objects.  Players are given a time limit and are awarded points depending on how well they did.  A pretty straight forward and fun game.  Connect 4×4 is an adaption of the newest form of Connect 4 where there is a front and a back side to the platform and players play as they do in the original version, however one side is a solid chip and the other, a hollow one.  So you have to pay attention and be observant of both sides, adding a bit of a challenge.  Do take note that there is an option to play the game as the original version, using one side or the newer version, which uses both sides.  Connect 4×4 would rate as my second favorite in this collection. 

Next, we have Bop It! which I love as a hand-held game.  It is both addicting and tons of fun.  However, I was not thrilled with this version.  At times it is just plain difficult to figure out exactly what the game is asking you to do.  This adds some frustration with arms thrown up in the air.  Operation, a game that I adored as a child and still don't mind, just is not one that is meant for the Wii.  Not only could we not work the Wii remote to do what it was suppose to, it is nearly impossible to remove objects.  That brings us to the final game on Family Game Night 2, Jenga.  A classic and fun game, when played with the actual pieces, is great, however it just plain sucks in the Wii version.  Perhaps it is just our inaptness, but my family and I, simply could not figure out how to pull out blocks without toppling over the tower.  The most turns we got through was two, which is just not much fun.  No matter what way we tried to use the remote, the slowness or care that we used, we just had no luck.  Therefore, Jenga on Wii is not one that we will play often, if at all.

Hasbro Family Game Night 2 is a great idea with promise, however I feel it needs some tweaking.  Overall, I don't think that I would recommend purchasing this, but rather go out and rent it, try it out and perhaps you will have better luck than we did with the games.  A definite "try it first before buying" game, in my opinion.  


Hasbro Family Game Night 2 is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB.

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About April Pohren