Click to see larger image
Budget friendly family fun.
Jan 16, 2010
Review by Sherry Garbacik
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:For the most part it is a simple, fun, and inexpensive game.
Cons:A couple of the games are difficult to perform. Graphics are so-so. Music becomes tiresome.
The Bottom Line: If you can pick this up really cheap then go for it. Otherwise, skip. It is fun but not fantastic. Try Game Party 2 instead.
We wrapped up Christmas morning ’08 with a huge thumbs up. Hubby had been begging, planning, and earmarking his bonus for a Wii. Unbeknownst to him; I not only bought, wrapped, and hid the game system in plain sight – but the rest of the family was in on the deception. After shocking him with the Wii, my niece gave us a Godparent’s present. She had selected Game Party for us since we had played it at her house and had enjoyed it.
Recommend this product?
We were both surprised and delighted. We were also both very new to Wii and the assorted games. Sure, our niece and nephew had the system as did the neighbor kid but we hadn’t played a whole lot. So we were excited with our “first” game for the Wii. In fact, for the first week or two, Game Party saw much more action than the Wii Sports that came with the console.
Our naiveté and the novelty of the Wii aside, Game Party is a decent enough game – for families. Hard core gamers will laugh me off for this opinion but that’s ok. I can appreciate where they’re coming from but from where I am, Game Party is fairly fun. Or at least, it was. We played it a lot at first but the poor disc hasn’t seen any action for the past six months. With a newer version of the game in our cache along with other software titles, Game Party has been relegated to the bottom of the pile.
Let me tell you about Game Party and what I like and dislike about it:
Game Party is made in the USA by Midway Home Entertainment, Inc. The 2007 copyrighted game is rated E for everyone. There are seven skill games. Some may be played with up to four people. Wii remotes are the only controllers required. You use one of the 175 characters (50 are ones that you unlock). Though you have to use a programmed character, you still enter your own name that goes on the leader board. Games include:
Darts – This one is our favorite. There are six versions to choose from:
High Score- Player with the highest score after five rounds wins. You get three darts on each round. Depending on your score, you earn tickets afterwards. The tickets unlock more darts and dartboards to pick from. While playing, it sort of appears that you are in an Irish pub. A few jingles continuously to pipe through the game lending to the Irish feel.
Hitting the bullseye is tricky. Actually getting the dart to hit precisely where you want is iffy. Holding the Wii remote in your hand, aim it at the board. A target circle appears that you “lock” into place. However, it doesn’t guarantee that your dart will strike the desired target – that depends (in part) on how you toss it. Just hold the A button down as you set the point then let go when your arm goes forward to throw the dart. If your dart sticks, it will remain in place during the round then a clear board is given for each new round. A circle at the top of the screen displays your character’s face. Depending on how you do, she makes a smile or a grimace. I hate it when I miss. My character makes a horrified look and you see and hear the crowd groan. Of course, they cheer too – just not after every hit. This reaction of your player and the group occurs for all of the Game Party games.
301/501/701 - Be the first player to get to zero and you win. It is the same principal for all three of these games just the starting points differ. This is another favorite. It gets dicey at the end with both of us trying to get a particular number of points. There’s been quite a few times when hubby is kicking my butt throughout the match but manage to out maneuver him at the end because he was struggling to hit a particular number with his dart. Lots of fun!
Cricket – This is alright if you have the time to play and are up to the challenge. You have to hit specific numbers: 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and Bullseye (or the bull-ring area). It is difficult. I hate how I have to hear and watch my character and the pub patrons groan and shake their heads in dismay after every time I miss. Still, the contest is a good one.
Baseball Darts – This one isn’t my cup of tea but hubby seems to like it. The player at bat scores depending on where the dart strikes. The board is set up to resemble a baseball field. There’s a large OUT section, STRIKE area, 1B, 2B, 3B, and FOUL BALL strips. There’s also a Home Run for the bullseye. Despite my lack of enthusiasm for this particular game, I manage to hit the home run area a lot – much to hubby’s displeasure. Each player keeps throwing darts until his team endures three outs. High score after five innings is the winner. Baseball Darts has to be unlocked.
Table Hockey – I love air hockey in real life! This version stinks. I may have played it a total of three times. I dislike it so much. Control is awkward. I typically end up knocking the dang puck into my own net. I just can’t get the hang of it. And the music playing in this game room is annoying. Player getting seven points first wins. Choice of paddle/mallet and hockey table increases as you earn more tickets.
Skill Ball – Better known as Skee Ball is wild. This is another one that I enjoy in the real world but have mixed feelings for Game Party’s interpretation. Controlling the aim of the ball is odd with the Wii remote. Truthfully, I park my rear in my chair for all of the games except this one. You have to be standing to get a better score. Holding the A button while moving your arm forward and releasing the button at the precise time while angling your swing and maintaining a good speed is a bit much for my limited coordination skills. As with the other games, assorted balls and ramps are available depending on the number of tickets earned.
Hoop Shoot – Hate it. You have one minute to arc basketballs into a net. Control seems way out of whack here. Rarely do I ever get a ball or two in – sitting or standing up to play. The game is too frustrating to play no matter what color basketballs or nets are unlocked.
Ping Cup – I didn’t do beer pong in college and I can’t do this particular game either. Honestly, it is almost as despised as the Hoop Shoot. I don’t get how to hold the Wii remote and flick my wrist accordingly. Hubby does better. He tried to explain to me how to line up the aiming arrows behind the glass and move my wrist like I’m shooting a basketball. Still, scoring points eludes me. Interestingly, this game also exists (or something similar) on Game Party 2 and it is much, much, much easier to play.
Shuffle Board – Like this one as much if not more as Darts. Hubby is a fan too – as is his dad. He came to visit a couple days after we got the Wii. After being subjected to making his Mii (something you unfortunately can’t use in Game Party), we introduced him to Shuffle Board. He loved it. I think he played the game at least ten times or more in a row.
I can’t blame him. Hubby and I have played this game over and over. Often, he beats my butt in darts then I take him to the cleaners in shuffle board. Getting accustomed to how to maneuver the Wii took a bit. We don’t hold the remote like a television remote control as directed in the manual. Instead, we hold it more like how we do during Darts. You learn quickly not to push forward fast or hard or your puck will go flying off the board. Each player has four pucks and alternates sliding them down the board. First one to reach fifteen wins.
I like how the gawkers at the arcade cheer each player on. Also, a green, jagged edge balloon flashes almost after a turn stating things like “great shot”, “awesome”, and “bad shot”. The muzak selection for this particular game is rock-like. I get tired of the tracks after a while and end up just muting the television. Again, tickets are earned and new colors of pucks and different shuffle boards can be obtained.
Curling – This is essentially the same game (and music) as Shuffle Board but with a circular target instead of the point zones. This game has to be unlocked. It is ok but I like Shuffle Board better.
Trivia – This is pretty cool. There’s a spinner with six sections. Each pie is a different category. There are sports, music, kids, general, history, and movies & TV. A flick of the Wii remote while pressing A spins the circle. Depending on how hard you flick your wrist down determines how fast the wheel spins. A question from the category spun appears. Then four possible answer bubbles are revealed. You aim and click A on the remote for the desired response. If you select the right answer, you get one point for each second remaining on the timer. If playing with others, everyone gets a chance to answer. The correct choice is shown after all players have answered or time runs out. The winner is the one with the most points after five rounds. Each round consists of three questions then the wheel is spun again for another category.
Lightening Trivia – very similar to the regular trivia version except only one person gets to answer before the correct response is displayed. Also, if the player that rings in first answers incorrectly, he loses a point for each second remaining on the clock. This often turns into a fast and furious game between hubby and I. Though it took us a while to realize how scoring was occurring. Lightening Trivia has to be unlocked.
For the most part, we have enjoyed Game Party. That being said, it is not a fantastic game. Avatars and graphics are nothing exciting, the seventy’s/jazz/ keyboard music can get annoying, and the “175” characters are basically all variations on the same set. Sure, there’s a skinny Santa that also looks like the thin Wizard, a pirate, a race car driver, a strange dude in lederhosen, and others to unlock but mostly it is the same group in different costumes.
There’s not a lot to do but the same games over and over – especially after you have unlocked everything. And unlocking happens swiftly. Now we’re settling for trying to beat one another’s high score or improving our own. Being able to use our own Miis would be nice as would having more games or things to unlock.
Still, Game Party isn’t a terrible game for what it is. Hubby and I were initially quite pleased with it. In fact, we bought Game Party 2 because of our general satisfaction. But now we rarely play the original version and are considering trading it in for a more advance and more expensive Wii game.
Game Party is still available at some retailers as well as online. Amazon currently has it for $17.69. I suppose hard core gamers consider Game Party to be “shovelware” and unworthy of the price. I think it is ok if you can get it for $10-15 on sale but I would honestly suggest the second version of the game instead. Just keep in mind the target audience for this is most likely families with grade/middle school aged children or simple Wii players that aren’t immersed in assorted software games.
Game Party is a budget friendly game with corresponding features. That doesn’t mean it stinks. It simply isn’t a fantastic game but it is fun. At one of our family get togethers, my father get a thrill out of beating the grandkids at Skill Ball, much to their surprise and horror. Who knew PopPop had those moves? We all had a lot of laughs playing.
Isn’t that what really counts; time with friends and family, love and laughter all around. For that, I’ll give Game Party a big thumbs up.
Share this product review with your friends