(Wii)

Wii Party (Wii)

Game Review

Wii Party Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

Wii like to party

If there's anything that the Wii's software catalogue arguably doesn't really need more of, it's minigame compilations and party games. From Wii Sports to Rabbids to numerous others, "drought" is not the word. But lo and behold, along comes Nintendo and their Mii army with Wii Party, including 80+ minis presented in party- and board-game style similar to the popular Mario Party series. The end result may not convert those averse to the genre, but it's a solid bet for families and friends looking for their next game night fix.

Right off the bat, Wii Party's strong presentation strikes one as a very charming and diverse package. The slick, light-hearted Mii style that has become the signature of Nintendo's flagship Wii series looks as good as it ever has. The music is friendly and playful, and the announcer that greets you almost immediately (in the voice of the forbidden lovechild of a Sim and the Swedish Chef) is ever-eager to explain all of the rules and game types, of which there are quite a few. It's very easy to get into, with most everything accessible right off the bat and with a time estimate in the corner of each mode select. If you for some reason don't know what you'd like to play, there's a Suggestion menu item that lets you enter how many players you have and whether you want a short or long game.

Most types can be played with up to four people each wielding their own Wii Remote, with the AI stepping in to fill any empty spots in most cases. You can jump straight to individual minigames if you so choose, but the structured modes are where it's really at.

Board Game Island is exactly as straightforward as it sounds: four players roll the dice and trot their way up a linear island-themed board, playing minigames for turn placement between each round. Winners are awarded special gold, silver or bronze dice for their next turn, allowing them to move farther along the board and closer to victory. This is essentially the Chutes and Ladders of Wii Party.

Globe Trot involves a bit more strategy as players are tasked with trekking the world to buy souvenir photos. Instead of dice, each player has a hand of cards that determine movement from one to three spaces. Winning minigames yields coins, which can be used to purchase not only the necessary souvenir photos but also special vehicle cards to travel further, or a plane or boat ticket to transport yourself across the world. After ten rounds the game goes into overtime with one last special, double-value souvenir photo up for grabs. It's hardly chess, but there's a bit more planning that goes into Globe Trot compared to any of the other modes on offer.

Bingo is, well, bingo, with the occasional minigame thrown in, and the victor is allowed to mark whatever square he or she chooses. Spin-Off comes with a giant wheel and makes use of a community banking system in addition to each player's wallet. Then there are simpler pair games like the Memory-esque Match-Up or the slightly more complicated Balance Boat, in which the outcome of a collaborative minigame determines the size of the two Miis to be placed on a wobbly boat.

Probably the most interesting mode, however, is House Party, which takes the games beyond the TV and into your actual room. To get the most out of this you'll need four people, or at the very least four Wii Remotes. Examples of these types of minis include hiding Remotes in the room for one player to find, with chirps from the Remote speaker as their only clue; another has you placing two or more Remotes on a flat surface, tasking players to snap up the Remote making the correct sound; one more has players passing a Remote around as softly as possible like a bomb, or a variant of which that makes players say a word in a certain category before passing it on.

Alright, clearly there's a lot of stuff from which to choose. But none of it would matter if the minigames were garbage, though, and for the most part we'd say they're pretty decent offerings. The House Party games are unique and entertaining, bringing the kind of outside-the-box thinking you'd expect from a first-party Nintendo game, and a large chunk of the minis are a blast – that is, the ones that require any form of skill. Unfortunately, maybe because it's tough coming up with 80 good minigames, there's a handful that mostly come down to either chance or waggling really quickly. In fact, there's one minigame in which players are tasked with simply picking which firework set will launch the highest. You have no way to influence its height, you just choose one and hope for the best. Frankly, that mini is probably one of the dumbest things to come out of Nintendo this generation.

It's not all doom and gloom, though. For every fireworks... thing, there's a skill-based arena game — our favourite of which is Zombie Tag, in which players run around a cemetery and avoid being touched by a deadite lest they turn into one and chase down the other players. For every waggle-fast-to-chop-this-onion, there's a helicopter rescue mission in which you try to scoop up as many Miis as possible, or a shooting gallery on a rollercoaster. Players of all stripes will find something to enjoy in the plethora of games on offer.

But competitive types, beware: Wii Party has some of the most blatant rubberbanding we've ever seen in a game. Just because you've won every single minigame in Board Game Island doesn't make you a shoe-in for victory — quite the opposite, actually, as you'll find yourself the target of proverbial blue shells and crappy dice rolls. If you've scoured the globe for souvenir photos only to lose to the last-place player in overtime, don't say we didn't warn you. Players who tie in a minigame decide their rank by an arbitrary dice roll, for example. Wii Party feels as if it goes out of its way to level the playing field, which is fine if you're only in it for a fun time or want to play with friends and family who don't usually dip into video games, but it's an artificial and cheap way to go about it.

Conclusion

It's a shame that Wii Party seems to rely so heavily on arbitrary equalisers, resulting in several underwhelming minis, but the range of diversity and charm is more than enough to pull you in for a while. Even if it sometimes feels like it's kicking you in the shins, Wii Party is a worthy minigame compilation with a silly sense of humour and simple charm that will strongly appeal to board game fans and casual players alike. If that is you or someone you know, pop this one in and enjoy.

More Stories

Game Trailer

NINTENDO want to invite you to erm, their Wii... Party. More information at nintendolife.com

User Comments (74)

Xkhaoz

#4

Xkhaoz said:

Hmmm, a 7/10. I'm pretty sure I'll get this down the road as a present.

KaiserGX

#5

KaiserGX said:

Seeing Gamestop give it a 8 I was sure you guys would give it something above a 7.

ToadFan

#9

ToadFan said:

I was expecting a 7.5/10 or 8.0/10...Didn't think this would be so low..

Shiryu

#12

Shiryu said:

Picked it up, it fills it's purpose, it's great to play with non-gamer friends. Too bad Nintendo is trying to shovel off the last stock of their original Wiimotes, It's the only reason why they are forcing people like to buy a 5th Wiimote. Already sold the Wiimote to a friend on the cheap, so everybody wins in the end.

bboy2970

#14

bboy2970 said:

Picking this one up tomorrow. Looks like alot of fun but even if it didn't, I think I would still feel obligated to get it. I have every Wii_____ game to date and don't wanna miss any. Good thing there's almost no chance of a bad one coming out :)

Gavin_Rozee

#15

Gavin_Rozee said:

I'm pretty much only ever going to be able to play this in 2 player. Still worth it, or will I be missing out on part of the game?

RaylaxStaff

#19

Raylax said:

I'll pass on this. Even if it is good, I'm way too fatigued of party games this generation. I dunno, it still feels like everyone jumped on Nintendo's various successful bandwagons (Wii Sports clones, Nintendogs clones, Brain Training clones, etc) and now Nintendo's responded... by jumping on the done-to-hell-and-back bandwagon too. Bored of seeing the same game by different companies.

KaiserGX

#22

KaiserGX said:

Check out Gamestop's review maybe that's more your standard. A 7 isn't really low though, a 7 is more like good.

Funny is when they are making Mario Party people say they should stop making Mario Party. They make Wii Party and those people want Mario Party.

KaiserGX

#24

KaiserGX said:

I plan to play this at my friend's house during Thanksgiving. My Amazon order doesn't ship till the 8 but it's okay I can wait.

Wesker

#25

Wesker said:

Yeah I think I'm done with Wii Party games in general. But if it gets a good buzz at launch and builds momentum I still might pick it up .

manleycartoonist

#28

manleycartoonist said:

The only party game I ever owned was Sonic Shuffle. And that was crap. And I have no friends to play with. Pass.

Sylverstone

#30

Sylverstone said:

MAYBE I'll get it, but sans free remote. I want the Wii Remote Plus to be my fourth remote.

Punny

#31

Punny said:

I'm probably not going to get it. That's disappointing, actually, because the trailers made the game look like a blast. :(

KaiserGX

#32

KaiserGX said:

It is a blast, they never said that game wasn't fun! Even if your playing alone there's a few single player modes. There a puzzle like game and game modes where you have to complete the games on a map or something. I don't remember them all specifically.

Chris720

#34

Chris720 said:

I'd buy this... but my friends don't come around very often, so it would feel rather pointless buying it.

If it had some sort of online functionality (leaderboards etc.), though, I might think about picking it up.

Ah well, I'll save for Kirbster, Link, DK and Mr. Bond. ;)

SuperMarioFan96

#39

SuperMarioFan96 said:

Everyone seems to be deciding they don't want it anymore because it got a 7. If it got an 8, I'm sure plenty you would actually want it.

This sounds like a blast with 3-4 players. I'm a little unsure whether I want to wait for the holidays to get it as a gift or if I want to get it now so that I'll have it when my cousins come over on Thanksgiving. I'm leaning towards the latter because this sounds like a pretty dull with just 1 person.

Zach

#40

Zach said:

Hey everyone, a 7 is still "good" in this neck of the woods.

7 - Good
A seven is not average in our eyes. This game will sport a few areas where the game is blatantly let down to the detriment of its overall quality and enjoyment, but it is NOT average. A seven is still a recommendation, but you might want to consider what we thought let the game down and decide for yourself if it would bother you before buying.

Dodger

#41

Dodger said:

I was hoping it would be better. Probably one I will skip. I hoped Nintendo would make one so good that hopefully, all of the other lame mini-game collections would stop selling as well and third parties would try to make real games.

KaiserGX

#44

KaiserGX said:

The Globe game is like Mario Party, but it's more than just a board game.

Btw it doesn't need Wii Motion Plus, all the games work well. I will assure you there is no "wraggle" anywhere in the game.

jbrodack

#45

jbrodack said:

This has looked too similar to mario party for me to be interested. I know there are other modes but still its like a sequel to mario party with new modes and no mario. Maybe if this was cheaper but not gonna spend $50 on another party game. Nintendo really needs to try something different.

KaiserGX

#47

KaiserGX said:

This is something different. If you lived by I'd invite you over to try it out but... :(

paulcmnt

#48

paulcmnt said:

You've gotta be kidding, 7/10? More like 5/10. Enough mini-games, even if they come from Nintendo.

LuWiiGi

#49

LuWiiGi said:

No, no, no, no, no. Nintendo, this is what the Wii needs less of, not more of. We need more of what the XBOX 360 has. Are you trying to steer hardcore gamers away?

NintyMan

#50

NintyMan said:

The harshest review I've read, but I'm stilling getting it anyway. When even Gamespot says good things about it, then it can't be all that bad. When I do get it for Christmas, it won't be because of what someone said about it, it's my own interest. This would be very fun to play whenever I have birthday parties at my house. Basing your decision on just one review isn't right.

Codyshelby

#51

Codyshelby said:

I have Wii Party and let me tell you guys...It's so much better than Mario Party. Wii party may only consist of 1 gameboard, but that 1 gameboard is only part of the game! There are like 7 game modes on this game with tons of re playability.

Unlike Mario Party this game actually holds challenges within its mini-games and that makes them much more fun to play. The controls are legit and the games are fun too. I would definitely not pass this one up regardless of this review.

If your looking for the next best party game, its definitely Wii Party.

IMO it falls under the best games of 2010 category along with DKC:R and Kirby.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#52

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

If you've bought a poor party/mini-game comp game before than that's your own poor purchase decision. There's only really the Rayman Raving Rabbids trilogy and Warioware Smooth Moves that are any good and that have ben reviewed as good across the board. Those are the only ones I've played besides the outstanding BoomBlox Bash Party; and I have a young family as well as a large extended family of wii players! That doesn't constitute as a whole load of QUALITY mini-game comps/party games in the wii's library to me. Wii Party IS a quality mini-game party game as you shouldn't discount it if you've bought a poor mini-game comp before.

Also, any mini-game comp of a large mini-games are going to have a few duds.....

Moreover, this is a family/SOCIAL party game - in that context it should be an 8.

The xbox comment I take it was sarcasm, lol

We are Nintendo gamers so we ought to be a tad open minded. Though I'm open minded to respect your opinions of course.

Thanks for good revw...INSTA-BUY.

MeloMan

#56

MeloMan said:

Probably will come across it one way or another, but I don't think I'll go out of my way for this Wii-series iteration this time. I may at least rent it.

BulbasaurusRex

#57

BulbasaurusRex said:

Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and (somewhat) Wii Play include "minigames" that are still pretty fleshed out and have a decent length, but Mario Party style minigames don't interest me much, so I will pass on this.

KaiserGX

#59

KaiserGX said:

I'm not going to go into every single aspect of every single mode, but I will say that there is a huge deal of variety here, and it really is something that's leaps and bounds above Mario Party in my opinion. You've got your basic board game type play, but unlike in Mario Party where you're trying to collect the most stars and win the game, where the mini-games are essentially there for coins only, in "Board Game Island", you are trying to be the first person to get from Point A to Point B. The games really take on extra incentive to win them here, because instead of earning you coins, you are competing to not only gain extra dice to roll, but also the order in which you roll. This is a very key aspect here, and something that the Mario Party series, should it return, must take note of! At the end of the day, the order in which you roll will have a drastic outcome on the game. There are also traps and rewards along the way, and all in all it is a good take on the classic board game.

Then you have a Bingo game where you essentially try and fill out a line on your Bingo card full of Miis, with random mini-games dispersed throughout, in which the winner gets to pick whichever Mii they want on their card (and anyone else's card that shares the same Mii), and there is some actual strategy involved here.

You've got "Spin-Off", which is a flashy wheel-of-fortune type gameshow, where you try and win the most "medals", with mini-games and other traps/rewards thrown in. You've got an interesting mode called "Swap Meet", where you win mini-games to determine turn order, trying to get the same colored Miis in your own group, but the real four player stand-out to me, is "Globe Trot". This is the most similar, and yet the most different approach to Mario Party's board games all at the same time.

You basically have to travel around the world, taking photos in different countries, which cost 10 coins each (the Mario Party similarities end here.) The way you do it, is through picking cards out of your own deck (some you can see, some you can't, and must pick randomly) to travel across the globe on foot, or in planes, tranes, or automobiles... (RIP John Candy). It is a very awesome mode to play, and is nearly worth the price of admission alone.

Then you've got a selection of "Pair Games", which can be played with 1-2 people (much better to not play anything solo though), which consist of a "Love Connection" type mode, where you co-operatively compete to see how compatible you are with your partner, a "Memory Match" type competition where you need to try and match different colored Miis together (Without knowing their color directly), and my personal favorite, a mode called "Balance Boat", where you need to win co-operative style 2-player mini games to determine which sized Miis you each get, and then you need to try and balance a maximum of 20 different sized Miis on the mast of a rocky boat to win. It is great fun, and very addictive! All of these modes have mini-games scattered throughout in clever, and effective ways.
You've then got some "House Party" games which challenge you to take the game beyond your TV screen and into your room itself, by playing a "Hide the Wii-Remote" type game, a very intense "Hot Potato" game, and a few more, all with clever interpretations of the Wii-Remote's speaker, and while these games aren't necessarily set up in any kind of "Board or Game Show" type of element, they are fun inclusions none the less.

There is of course the ability to just play mini-games, and even then you have several options on how to go about it, everything from a clever solo mini game experience, where you actually have an objective to meet outside of the minis themselves, to straight on "First to X number of wins" competitions, a very nice touch for the more casual mini-game lover.

Morpheel

#60

Morpheel said:

wow... just wow people got crazy over a party game.
i may be getting this if i can, i love party games!

spcolo

#61

spcolo said:

A lot of the reviews of this game are not as high as they should be in my opinion. I agree with most please that most the the party games for the Wii have been poor, but this is not one of them. This game does have a huge variety like KaiserGX said. I got this game yesterday and it is a lot of fun. Please just don't look past this game thinking it is just another party game or a bad knock off of Mario Party. It is not that at all. To me this is what Wii games should be.

armoredghor

#63

armoredghor said:

This game looks awesome! like what party games should be and built ground up for the wii! Let's get ready for a new direction in the genre!@spcolo you can go back and edit

Marioman64

#64

Marioman64 said:

well i wanted mario party 9... but i'll probably get this anyway (pretending it is in fact mario party 9)

CaptainDingo

#66

CaptainDingo said:

Is there a way to disable playing the minigames where you hide the wii remote/place it flat on surfaces/etc.? My house has very little available furniture in the room where my Wii is, and virtually no tables save for the one in the dining room. I'd prefer to just play the game-games, if that makes any sense.

Masterhp

#68

Masterhp said:

I have a simple question if any one can answer plz do so. Can you play 4 player modes with 3 or 2 remotes. Plz teel throught

TheChosen

#69

TheChosen said:

Only some of the House Party games can be played with less controllers. Still though, the more the merrier.

Personally, I love this game. Its a step forward from Mario Party and I always loved the use of Mii's in "Wii (title)" games. If you play a lot offline, definitely pick this one. Goes well with Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart and Goldeneye, just like back in 1999.

RockyRoadPie

#70

RockyRoadPie said:

Just a reminder for the scale: (In my opinion)
1-Terrible 2-very bad 3-bad 4-meh 5-average 6-nice 7-good 8-very good 9-awesome 10-perfect game

Hypno1001

#71

Hypno1001 said:

I'm sure i will get this with the remote and then another Nunchuck then I will have 3 Wii remotes and 3 Nunchucks! ;)

D33G

#73

D33G said:

this is the only wii game my parents, brother, and I can play together!

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