Reviewed: December 18, 2008
Released: December 2, 2008
Are you planning a family-oriented party? If you have only 4 people, then Family Party: 30 Great Games is a fun-filled game to keep the fun going in your party that is a cheaper alternative to Mario Party or even Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games. If you have more than 4 people, well then switching off controllers isnít out of the question either. Youíll also see some Japanese style hilarity in games such as the ones found in many Japanese game shows.
The game uses only the Wii Remote to shake, run, stay balanced, and point and shoot. When playing the running games, which require you to shake the Wii Remote up and down, you might get your arm tired. Or it might give your arm great exercise while leaving your other weak and untoned.
There are 5 different areas that act as categories for the minigames; muscle, athletic, castle, shooting, and variety area. Most of these areas should be pretty self explanatory of what kind of games each hold.
The muscle area has games that require more strength such as Log Cutting and Barrel Throwing. The controls for all these games are pretty simple, you hold the A and B buttons and shake the Wii Remote forward and back as straight as you can to cut 3 logs. While to throw a barrel, you press the A button at a certain point in the power bar and lift the Wii Remote to throw as straight as possible.
The athletic area has many running and jumping games like an obstacle course and a swinging game. The running games will tire your arm as you will shake the Wii Remote up and down as fast as you can to run faster. The obstacle course isnít much of an obstacle because all you do is jump over hurdles and climb under nets. Not like the ones you remember if you ever saw American Gladiators.
Each game starts with a description of how to play, but often the grammar is very poor and unclear that you still donít know how to play except for what buttons to press. The swinging game will leave you frustrated because it is hard to figure out the controls. It tells you to press A to let go of the bar, but it is actually the B button, then press A to grab hold of your partner on another swing but no matter how hard you try, you just canít grab hold of your partner.
The castle area seems to have more unique games such as the game where you have to stay balanced on a pile of pillows during an earthquake. It is harder than it sounds using the Wii Remote, but youíre also wondering why you will even be sitting on a pile of pillows during an earthquake. The games in this area are more humorous like Japanese style TV game shows. These games were probably the most fun of them all.
The shooting area contain the basic point and shoot games that you might find in Wii Play, while the variety area contain just that; a variety of different types of games. These are both unlockable areas so I give anything away.
To unlock games and areas, you must clear each area in single player mode. Obviously, that means to get first by the end of the games. Unfortunately, some of it isnít too clear as you may be left with a ďFailedĒ screen even though you gained first. This may be the result of 3rd and 4th place resulting in a tie, but thereís just no explanation for it.
The graphics are mediocre for a Wii game. For either single or multiplayer mode, all the games are split screen. The characters are cartoonish, but not blocky. The graphics donít lag the game and this allows the game to load much quicker giving you less to time to prepare your wrist before a minigame begins. The character animations are quite realistic, they cheer and jump when they win, pant when theyíre tired, and seeing a character run is identical to how a person really runs.
The game starts off sounding like a SEGA arcade game, which can be a downer since it isnít a SEGA game. As you play through a game, your characters will always grunt and cheer. You might wonder why they have to grunt so much, but then you realize that all the grunting is very amusing and funny to hear. Like in the earthquake game, itís fun to hear the grandpa constantly say ďwhoaĒ as he is just about to tip over; or maybe the grandpaís laugh as he proves his athleticism over his grandchildren.
If you are playing by yourself, you wonít enjoy it as much, but if you have plenty of people over for a party, you can clock in a few hours. Youíll have more fun with multiplayer mode because the AI for the single player mode isnít very bright and there is no difficulty option. There is more of a challenge against a human player while not arguing over anything. It is surprisingly more fun that with enough people, this game will be played many times.
The game was much more fun than expected. If you wanted to play a game such as Mario Party or Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games but donít have the money to buy either, this is a bittersweet alternative because it is only priced at $19.99 as opposed to $49.99. Although you will wonder why Log Cutting is a family game, youíll have too much fun to really care. If you donít have anyone to play with, then the fun in this game will quickly diminish, but this game will surely bring families together.