News Article

USA WiiWare Update: Family & Friends Party

Posted by Damien McFerran

Thanks to the uncontrollable nature of the internet it’s not often that we’re caught by surprise here at WiiWare World – we usually know well in advance about potential titles because it’s almost impossible for Nintendo to keep news from filtering out of its fortress-like HQ.

However, this week we’ve been caught with our pants down as Nintendo has made Gammick Entertainment’s Family & Friends Party available – a title that we’d never even heard of until today!

Here’s the official press release for your delectation:

Family & Friends Party (Gammick Entertainment, 1-8 players, Rated E for Everyone, 1,000 Wii Points): Have fun with all your friends and family as you take on some very exciting challenges. This is an interactive board game for as many as eight players of all ages. The goal is to be the first to complete a series of challenges. During each turn, a challenge will be played by one or two players per team depending on the type of challenge you’ve been given. (Other players on your team can still help and support you). There are six different “Single” challenges that must be played cooperatively by members of the same team. Family & Friends Party can also suggest “Versus” challenges, which must be played competitively by all teams at the same time.

Elsewhere, there’s turn-based action on the Virtual Console courtesy of the classic Super NES release Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen.

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User Comments (61)

Bass_X0

#1

Bass_X0 said:

I am seriously expecting this to get a very low score from the graphics alone.

KnucklesSonic8

#2

KnucklesSonic8 said:

Oh, c'mon. PLEASE don't disappoint. I was expecting something of more substance for today. :(

One the plus side, 8 player-support. On the down side, it's another game where the price tag may be more than what one should really play.

I'm not going to judge this just yet until I see more definitive material.

Oh and I remember vaguely hearing about this getting ESRB rated a while ago. After further prying, I was correct:
http://www.gamersdailynews.com/story-8096-Latest-ESRB-Rated-Games.html

Was OFLC Rated not too long ago, also.
http://www.classification.gov.au/special.html?n=46&p=156&sDateFromM=1&sDateFromY=1970&sDateToM=1&sDateToY=2009&sRating=G&record=231808

They're the same ones responsible for overseeing Fritz Chess.

ESRB Summary:

  • "This is an interactive board game in which players earn points and progress through levels by participating in a series of challenging mini-games. Mini-games include trivia, math and spelling, puzzles, hidden word challenges, and memory games."
Metroid133

#3

Metroid133 said:

Not impressed. Unless I hear it is impressive it might as well go to the bottom of my "to get" list.

Sean_Aaron

#4

Sean_Aaron said:

Wow, two releases in one day, North America is truly spoiled; the Japanese are only getting five releases tomorrow...tsk tsk.

jangonov

#6

jangonov said:

I know it is only one screen shot but honestly 3 + 1? why? If you are old enough to play with a wii you know what 3 + 1 is easily. Sorry but I'm with Metroid133. This is at the bottom of my list.

DazzaAdmin

#8

Dazza said:

@KnucklesSonic8 - This game has popped up on our radar before when it received ratings.

We emailed them several times but to date have had no reply. We got the crappy little screenshots you see today directly from Nintendo! :-p

Awesome5

#9

Awesome5 said:

@jangonov: Maybe it's a reaction test....

This sounds like either a rip off Mario Party or a cheaper alternative. Either way, I probably won't get it.

KnucklesSonic8

#10

KnucklesSonic8 said:

@jangonov: Yeah, that worries me too....

@Dazza: Well Corbie DID say that it was your/his first time hearing about it so...
But anyway, thanks for the info.

@Awesome 5: Sounds like it has more in common with TV Show King.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#11

Philip_J_Reed said:

Wow, this is so much better than Bit Trip would have been...

cries
Why have you forsaken me, God?

Starwolf_UK

#13

Starwolf_UK said:

We got the crappy little screenshots you see today directly from Nintendo!
Do you know why Nintendo feel the need to give websites postcard-sized screenshots. I know they use the same screenshots on the Wii shop but to make these screenshots they would need proper ones.

To be honest I like to think of this update as vengence for the people who laughed at Europes update on Friday. The biting question for me is; Will this title join the 18 out in America but not coming to Europe?

SmaMan

#14

SmaMan said:

Another party game for the Wii... sigh.

And another generically titled one at that. Yesterday I saw a Wii game called "Game Party" ... yeah. How original. Granted it was the bargain rack at the Office Depot, but still.

Adam

#15

Adam said:

What were you doing with your pants down anyway, WiiWare World?!?!

Bahamut_ZERO

#16

Bahamut_ZERO said:

.........

Am I the only one who noticed the developers are 1 letter offf from "gimmick".

G a mmick. G i mmick.

See. I already have no hope for this.

Unless Corbies reviewing it, then itll get the respectable score of 7/10 :P

Ricardo91

#18

Ricardo91 said:

Alright! It's been awhile since we had some surprise garbage! :P

@Axelay. I'm beginning to think that we're never gonna get Gradius R. * Sigh *... :(

Popyman

#19

Popyman said:

Am I the only one who thinks that dude in the screenshot is creepy? Like, kill you in your sleep creepy?

@KS8: If you (or anyone, for that matter) want a board game type Wii game, pick up Dokapon Kingdom. That game is REALLY fun, it's a board game with RPG elements, and a whole lot of other fun and hilarious stuff. I still need to buy my own copy...

-TR

#21

-TR said:

Awesome. I'm soooooo going to buy this as soon as I've got every sinlge other game on WiiWare.

gameking23

#22

gameking23 said:

This is such a huge dissapointment. I was so hoping for either Equilibrio or Bit Trip Beat.

slambert215

#23

slambert215 said:

This game looks terrible. Only plus side is the 8 player support. it isn't very good that the publisher's name sounds like "gimmick" either.

KDR_11k

#24

KDR_11k said:

Now let's bet which will be worse: This or that Aksys Family Pirate Party game.

Rawk_Hawk

#26

Rawk_Hawk said:

I wonder why they are scaling back the Wii Ware titles to one a week? I think its time Cave Story and Gradius R come rock Wii Ware's world.

SmaMan

#27

SmaMan said:

@BahamutZERO
I noticed that two the first time I was reading it, I just forgot to comment on it. I wonder if this is supposed to be a spoof of some sort... nah, that's wishful thinking, just more shovelware.

longtimegamer

#28

longtimegamer said:

The brain games were fun and they had "challenges" like the math and such here. Maybe we'll get lucky.

Hopefully I'll like that Ogre Battle. I owned the psx version, but I didn't play it for maybe so many minutes. Didn't get into it back then I guess.

Twilight_Crow

#29

Twilight_Crow said:

What a disappointment, I really was expecting something interesting today :(, I don't care about this game, I'm a lone player, and I bet this ain't gonna be the best party game anyway; seriously 3 + 1? This is as casual as any game can get :P.

Wiiloveit

#30

Wiiloveit said:

I seem to recall seeing this on the PEGI rating list at one point, but on a second glance, it doesn't appear to be there. So the real question is this: am I going crazy? Thoughts and opinions appreciated :|

SilentJ

#31

SilentJ said:

What in the hell is this?!!! I was NOT expecting to find this when I logged on. It looks like we have a very very good contender for worst WiiWare game of all time. I don't think I've ever been this disappointed since WiiWare launched. This better not ever make the top 20 list or we are all doomed.

stokley316

#35

stokley316 said:

im tired of all this useless crap. February was an awful download month! Where the !@#$ is bit trip beat and bubble bobble?!

PALgamer

#36

PALgamer said:

You guys are too quick judging a book by it's cover, just wait till the review confirms this is AAA, specially since it's coming from the awesome Spanish developer Gammick Entertainment. They are publishing Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ here in Europe.
(goes back to play pong toss)

CorbsAdmin

#37

Corbs said:

Sorry, I'm reviewing Ogre Battle this week. I'm not quite sure what to think of Family & Friends Party yet. Like you, I might just wait and see what the review says. :D

Bass_X0

#38

Bass_X0 said:

Its not my kinda game but I do think Ogre Battle deserves more than 7/10.

Bahamut_ZERO

#40

Bahamut_ZERO said:

Corbie cant resist the urge to give out 7s. He often stands on corners handing outflyers with the number 7 on them :P

CorbsAdmin

#42

Corbs said:

You do realize that I can never give a 7 to any game again. The number 7 is dead to me. (spit)

SmaMan

#44

SmaMan said:

No, we can't do that! We already expanded the ratings scale to 10! Doing that would practically make it a 100 scale!

But don't we usually have these reviews out before the game gets released on VC?

CorbsAdmin

#45

Corbs said:

Virtual Console game reviews on VC-Reviews.com will now come out the day after they are released. New policy. :)

jones2929

#46

jones2929 said:

Just wait, this game will easily crack the top 10. It has the perfect title to entice people that have no clue otherwise - "Family and Friends Party". This is what people buy, apparently.

Bahamut_ZERO

#47

Bahamut_ZERO said:

@Corbie: If Dracula comes back for every Castlevania, why cant the number 7?

"Sevenvania: Play as Corbie Dillard as you trek through his awsome house, beating high scores on very expensive arcade machines, in an attempt to beat Seven, his best friend turned to the dark side after repeat use."

Nice idea for a game huh :P

KnucklesSonic8

#48

KnucklesSonic8 said:

Weird how the vid on the NC shows Teen rating when it's not... If you don't believe me still then check ESRB.

@Popy: I'm aware of Dokapon Kingdom and the upcoming Dokapon Journey already, thanks. I'm just not into the whole magic aspect of it.

So.... noone actually got this? XD

@PALGamer: Yes, people pass judgments here WAY too quickly but you should be used to that.

Anyway... interested in seeing the review on this one...
I'd hate to see Gimmick... I mean uhh... G*a*mmick (Bahamut, I caught that ages ago. XD) get discouraged from developing future WiiWare titles.

WarioFan63

#49

WarioFan63 said:

I could actually see this game getting a solid 5 or 6.

Not exactly a 'gotta-have' title or anything but I bet it does what it tries to accomplish. Kinda like Yummy Yummy or Major League Eating or Potpourii.

Adamant

#51

Adamant said:

I assume it was changed because the creepy dude at the title screen makes small children and adults alike cry in fear.

Rawk_Hawk

#54

Rawk_Hawk said:

I heard this game has no single player mode. Just FYI if anyone is thinking about downloading it

Pablo17

#55

Pablo17 said:

I down loaded this because I play a lot of the party games and it is pretty average. The graphics, music and overall presentation are bland and generic. This game can be played with two to eight players, so as stated there is no single player here. However, this is a party game, so I don't think the lack of a single player option is a deal breaker.

This game has a two vs the computer option, a three player option and then a team based option for up to four players per team. In the team mode, each team takes a turn and then every other turn the teams battle it out at the same time. There are six activities (from what I remember) ranging from word based games to pictionary and shooting games. The games play okay but they are not going to blow anyone away. When a team succeeds at an activity, they win coins and aquire the badge for that accomplished game. First team to complete all of the activities first, wins the game. The coins come into play in that you can buy a badge out right for a large amount of your coins, or pick a game to play where you still need a badge for a lesser amount of coins. This works pretty well and gives a purpose for the coin collecting.

Miis are supported in this game which is a nice feature or you can use the generic characters that are already available. Overall it is a pretty average game but if you like party games, you might have some fun with it. I didn't see an option to play the games individually in a practice or quick play setting. This is a little disappointing as a few of the games are fun and a quick play option would add some replay to the package.

PapaSmalls

#56

PapaSmalls said:

You can play it by yourself, it's just pointless since you're cheating on two of the games...or you can give yourself a detriment...but it is possible to play by yourself entirely.

Objection

#57

Objection said:

It does seem that our last update was too good to be true. Now we get to (Start to) pay for it. Tactics is probably pretty good if you like the genre and this game probably just isn't good ,especially costing 1000. If it was 500, it'd be hard to fail completely at being an average Mario Party rip-off for the family to play.

KnucklesSonic8

#58

KnucklesSonic8 said:

@Pablo: Glad you're enjoying it even a little. What else do you have to say for it? Worth 1,000? How's the board set up? What are some issues you have? What are some things the game does right? Are the activites fun?

TBH, I would LOVE to play the Pictionary parts. :D
How are those since we're on the subject? :P
Apparently the others have to turn around while the other team guesses the object.
Doesn't sound that bad at all. I'm just wondering how the execution is and if I should wait for a better rendition of these types of games (that I admittedly love).

@gameking23: SO WAS I!! lol. I was disappointed 2 weeks in a row, now. :( Oh well. Let's hope for next week.

Oh and SatBK out tomorrow! lol. Had to say it.

Pablo17

#59

Pablo17 said:

@KS8-For the most part all of the games work well and that is why I am surprised that there doesn't seem to be any quick or free play mode to play just the games you like.

There is no board like in the Mario Party games. There is a crane that picks games at random and that is the game type that your team will play. This is where the coins come into play, as they allow you the ability to pick a game that you need instead of a random one.

The Pictionary type game works fine but as with all of the other games, they are set up in quick bursts, so you never fill like you get enough time with the games that you like. I can't say that there was a game that I hated, as I like word, drawing and shooting games.

My problem with the game is the very low production values. I don't expect a work of art for 1000 points but this game feels cheap, through and through. If you love party games, have people to play the game with and can get past the generic look of this game, you can have some fun here. As to whether it is worth a 1000 points or not, I still don't know.

EDIT:I should mention that although this may look like a kids game, a good portion of the questions would be too hard for younger children. There are math questions that have very simple solutions, however the goal of that game is to get the answer before the other team. Also, the word games can be a little tricky, such as spelling a word backwards, or guessing a word based on a simple clue. The Simon Says and Duck Shooting are two games that pretty much anyone can do though.

odd69

#60

odd69 said:

just like i posted last week about these games ,so today doesn't surprise me. oh well we got a good game this month,maybe we shouldn't complain. this casual craze is taking over though, and i seriously doubt that we will ever get the awesome-ness that japan's Wiiware has. wouldn't it be nice though to have more must have exclusives. i dont need a review to know not to buy this. actually i hope no one buys this game so nintendo will stop aiming this crap our way...

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