Wii Party would make a nice addition to family game night. While there are several games that can be played with a single player, Wii Party is best suited for multiple players. There are 13 different party game modes and over 70 mini-games. Game play length varies widely. Some games take as little as five minutes, while some take an hour or more. All games are family friendly and do not require much skill, though they can be challenging.
There are two board game style games. “Board Game Island” is my personal favorite. In this game, players roll dice to advance spaces just like a traditional board game. Wii Party, however, amps up the traditional board game by adding mini-game challenges to determine who rolls first for each turn. Not only does the winner of the mini-game get to roll first, but he/she gets an extra die for a chance to advance an extra one to six spaces. The second place winner gets a chance at one to three extra spaces; third place gets a chance for one or two extra spaces, and fourth place gets nothing. “Board Game Island” relies both on skill and chance. Players who are good at the mini-challenges have more of an advantage, but the roll of the dice is still up to random chance.
Some games, such as “Hide the Remote,” will appeal more to children, but most games will be fun for the entire family. The mini-games have good skill building exercises for children, such as arranging puzzle pieces, and a matching memory game. “Garden Gridlock” is a good puzzle solving game that will challenge kids (and adults too!) via trial and error to solve each progressively difficult level. I found a few of the games to be not well suited for the Wii. “Bingo” in particular came off as a little boring. It was pretty much the same as playing it on paper.
Playability of Wii Party is fairly easy. I occasionally found my controller not as responsive as I would have liked when having to use the arrow buttons to move my Mii around. The controller worked best for motion controlled moves such as chopping or throwing. Overall Wii Party is a good family style game that is enjoyable for all ages. It’s biggest drawback is it does not have a particular hook. The characters are all Mii’s, the settings are fairly generic, and there is no real standout as far as the games go. There nothing to get super-excited about, but it is a fun way to pass some time.
Wii Party is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for mild cartoon violence.