Game Party (Nintendo Wii)

For about a week or two my wife clamored over wanting Game Party for the Nintendo Wii.  Picking the game up for $19.98 at Wal-Mart, we were on our way to play an awesome party game fit for up to 4 players!  Or so we thought.

Game Party is from Midway Games, makers of the popular Mortal Kombat franchise, Unreal franchise and several other popular titles.  Included on the game disc are versions of: darts, hoop shoot, skill ball, shuffleboard, air hockey, ping cup and trivia.  Of these seven games, darts, shuffle board, air hockey, ping cup and triva are multi-player.  And of those five games, only darts and triva support 4 players.  Hopefully you won’t be having many people over to your party!

Darts is a fairly straight forward game.  You are required to do a few button presses, but other than that, you awkwardly hold the bulky Wii-mote in your hand like a dark and “throw” it at the screen.  It takes some getting use to, as do all the motion controls involved in the other games, but once you figure out your angles, you’re set.  I believe up to 4 can play this one.

Hoop shoot and Skill ball are what I call, “the Chuck E. Cheese” games.  In Hoops you have to simulate tossing a ball repeatedly into a stationary hoop before time runs out.  The highest number of baskets wins you a place on the Top 20 list of players.  Same with Skill ball.  If you’re familiar with this game, it has a “lane” similar to bowling, but that ramps up toward the end to launch your ball into one of several rings, each with a different point value.  This is one of the clunky control games as your swing has to be dead on and powerful enough to launch the ball, otherwise it’s a long, slow journey watching the ball struggle up the ramp, then roll aimlessly back down.  both of these are single player, taking much of the potential fun out of the games, and making the “Top 20” scoring function just a way of seeing your name on screen.

Air Hockey is probably my favorite.  It’s simple and straight forward once you realize that it requires only small delicate motions of up, down, left and right to operate.  It’s exactly like the real game, minus you actually being hunched over the vibrating table.  2 players can enjoy this one.

Trivia is a very basic game of obscure questions that I’ve never imagined.  The player with the highest score spins a wheel with multiple catagories on it.  You’re then asked several questions and the player to select the right answer first wins the points.  About 4 or 5 questions are asked each round before taking you back to spin for another catagory.  Boring.  Very boring and sometimes slightly confusing gameplay as far as who clicked on what first and should have scored.  It seemed to figure the winner a different way each round for the two sessions we played.  I believe this one is good for 4 players.

Ping Cup.  Ladies and gentlemen … if your party is boring enough for you to whip out Ping Cup on the Wii … you have larger problems.  The video game take on the drinking game has you fumbling the Wii-mote to toss a marble or coin or something into one of numerous drinking glasses.  If you succeed, then that glass is taken away, limiting your number of chances.  If you fail … well … repeat until you pull your hair out.  2 players.

Finally, there is Shuffleboard.  At this point in the lesson, my friends, I’d like to admit that I didn’t even bother playing this game.  I’ve never played real-life shuffleboard, and after playing the other games on this collection, I didn’t feel it necessary to play this version. 

I’m no longer 100% certain what type of party these games are fit for, but they are sure to kill the fun of a sober one.  Perhaps a few beers … perhaps even some whiskey, will make the difference.  But my ruling on Game Party for the Nintendo Wii is not good.  It’s a definate trade-in the next time we visit Gamestop.  If you are a single-player gamer and enjoy basic games like darts or the Chuck E. Cheese style gameplay, then it’s probably right up your alley.  They can be fun, as long as you don’t mistake them for a real party pleasing product.  Might I recommend the free sports game pack-in that game with your Wii for that type of entertainment.