(Wii U eShop)

Game Review

Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Martin Watts

You spin me right 'round baby, right 'round

If there’s one unique selling point that the Wii U truly has over other systems, it’s the potential that it has for local multiplayer. Up until now, asymmetric multiplayer has been a pretty big deal to Nintendo, with the GamePad being the key to unlocking these new kinds of gameplay experiences. Thankfully, Nintendo isn’t the only developer that's realised this; in fact, KnapNok Games’ new party game for the Wii U eShop, Spin the Bottle: Bumpie’s Party goes one step further, does away with the TV and instead focuses purely around the Wii U GamePad.

The premise behind Spin The Bottle: Bumpie’s Party is rather unconventional: it advises you to turn the TV off and sit your group of friends (up to eight players) around the Wii U GamePad. In case you’re wondering, this title doesn’t subscribe to a more traditional formula which involves a lot of awkward kissing; instead, spinning the bottle – which is done using the touchscreen on the GamePad – is done entirely for the purpose of choosing a mini-game partner. These players must then take on cooperative challenges using Wii Remotes and occasionally the Wii U GamePad, which are quite physical in nature. The first person to win three challenges wins overall, and the game nicely lets their partner share the victory, even if they themselves haven’t hit their quota.

While this may not sound as cringeworthy as potentially kissing your best friend’s other half, Spin The Bottle: Bumpie’s Party nevertheless excels at creating plenty of awkward situations. As the activities are rather physical, that in turn make this piece of software more suited to an informal party, preferably one where the alcoholic beverages are high and people’s inhibitions are low. That’s not to say that this isn’t family friendly – it’s all harmless fun at the end of the day – but rather Spin The Bottle: Bumpie’s Party is best enjoyed with people who aren’t afraid to get involved and look a little silly.

The mini-games on offer range from simple tasks such as sawing an imaginary piece of wood to more elaborate challenges like playing tennis with an invisible ball or acting as a human jump button for a platforming game. For the most part, the concepts behind the mini-games are fun, and offer something quite different from what you’d expect from a video game. A surprising amount of coordination is required, mainly because in most activities you don’t have any visual indication as to how well you’re doing. Instead, the game forces you to rely on sound effects, which is certainly interesting and unusual, but it also means you’re better off leaving the TV on; the Wii U GamePad speaker is easily drowned out in a crowded and noisy room.

A lot of effort has gone into creating some genuinely unique experiences. For example, in one particular game you and your partner must compete against the other players in a race to catch as many “roosters” as possible. In this context, players must listen to the noises coming from each Wii Remote, and when they hear the Rooster press their assigned button on that controller. Other games emphasise the need to get close to your partner, and if you like that person then you may want to spraying on a bit of deodorant before playing. Certain activities such as waltzing around the room with your partner seem innocent enough, but other games see you practically clambering all over one another. These sorts of mini-games are clearly there for the silly factor, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t welcome; it’s a lot of fun and bound to cause a lot of laughs when you see two friends awkwardly slow dancing with one another.

This is where the game’s overall presentation really helps to set the mood. The visuals are cute and endearing, the sound effects are suitably silly and everything about it is absolutely bonkers. If you are the overall winner, you're awarded with daft prizes, ranging from tractors to bananas, and the title even provides cheeky visual cues during certain mini games — the slow dance mini-game even comes with its own on-screen candle for added romantic effect.

Spin The Bottle: Bumpie's Party is a strictly multiplayer affair, and one which can only really be enjoyed every now and again. That's because there aren't many mini-games on offer, not to mention that most of them require little to no skill. Therefore, you might find that when played with the same group of people on a regular basis, this game quickly loses its initial charm. It's a real shame that there isn't a wider range of challenges available, because overall Spin The Bottle: Bumpie's Party provides an experience like no other on Wii U. The only other issue is that most games tend to require players of a similar height – a game between adults and children, therefore, might be more cumbersome than fun.


If you’re looking for an affordable and fun game to pull out during a party, then Spin The Bottle: Bumpie’s Party will definitely provide a great deal of laughter and fun. The mini-games offer a unique, often hilarious experience and the relatively low level of playing skill required means that this is a title that most people can enjoy. Nevertheless, the lack of variety really does limit the replay value of this title, making it a game which can only really be enjoyed in short bursts.

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User Comments (23)



Shambo said:

Well, if they add challenges on a regular basis, early buyers like myself get a fun, expanding party game for a low price. When was the last time that happened?



EaZy_T said:

I actually put this one on my eShop wishlist a couple days ago; it sounds like a nice, silly game for when company comes over.



TreesenHauser said:

Maybe I'll get this when I've already purchased DuckTales Remastered and others. Sounds like it might be a hilarious game to play at parties.



ajcismo said:

Downloaded it, haven't tried it yet. This one falls more under the "board game" realm, which means it'll get dusted off once or twice a year. Looks like it could be kinda fun after a few mixed drinks though.



Mahe said:

Bought and played this with friends over the weekend, it's good fun. Looking forward to the additional content.



ricklongo said:

Do they REALLY expect me to allow drunken friends the chance to break my precious GamePad in physical activities? Think again!

The game sounds intriguing, truth be told, but it's usually not the kind of thing I like doing at parties.



FiveDigitLP said:

In regards to the point on the lack of variety, don't forget that they plan to regularly add more games as time passes! (Of course, this will also cause the price to go up using their unique pricing method.)



SKTTR said:

The first update to this game has been announced on Miiverse: It will bring a whole new set of multiplayer activities that all use the GamePad Camera! This and further updates will rather come in months, not weeks. There's quite some quality control at KnapNok Games.

@Ricklongo: The GamePad is just lying in the middle of the table and is used for selecting characters and spinning the bottle (on the touchscreen) in between the activities. So there's no physical harm to the GamePad, if that's what you're afraid of. The activities themselves all use 2-4 Wiimotes and are played best in a free space with no GamePad near.

Personally I really like this game and agree with pretty much everything has been said so far. I played it just once with 3 friends and it was absolutely hilarious and fun. We took lots of photos that evening.



Kyloctopus said:

This must have been a fun game to review.
I was told that at the moment, the game has 16 minigames. Is this true?



Dodger said:

I can't see many scenarios where you have enough people for a game like this to work where you wouldn't just decide to play Wii Sports. Maybe I'm wrong though.

Those characters in the banner look like the weird puppets from Homestuck.



WinterWarm said:

When I first heard of this, I thought you just spun a virtual bottle on the GamePad...

This is clearly much more dark and horrific. A no-holds-barred horror fest. It's like Chernoyble in your living room. This scares me, I want my blankie back.



SCAR said:

I'm guessing you tell the game who's winning?

Not that it really matters. If you're playing this game, you probably don't care who wins.



1134calc said:

@SCAR392 The game keeps track of the number of successes. If you don't do an activity correctly, you don't get a point.

For example, the game Blind Dog has a blindfolded person try to find a wiimote and press a button on it without knocking it over, while their partner guides them. If the wiimote is knocked over, no point.

And apparently according to the review, first to 3 points wins.

I've been looking forward to this game for so long! It will be great to play back in the dorm with all my quirky friends!



Sean_Aaron said:

I need to give this another "spin" with my partner tonight. I was slightly disappointed that we didn't encounter any mini-games that lent themselves to more naughty interpretations, but we only did one round. The drill game made me feel a bit sick, actually!

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