Monday, December 20, 2010

Wii Party

If you like your video game experience to be more social than solitary and you are looking for a family-friendly game that all ages can play, I would like to suggest Wii Party to you.

I had a chance to try out Wii Party a few months ago as part of my work with Nintendo as a brand enthusiast. They sent me the game (and a disco ball, which was kind of weird, but, if you are my kids, AWESOME) to try out and to use at a party I was to host with some of my friends. More on that later. First, the game.

Naturally, I didn't wait for the party to bust out the game, but popped it into my Wii one afternoon, gave my kids remotes, and started to play. The whole concept of Wii Party is that there are a multitude of social games for you to choose from, and each of those games is made up of smaller "mini-games" you play along the way.

For example, Board Game Island is basically a roll-the-dice and move-forward-that-many-spaces game that you play on the Wii. However, before each round, you play a mini-game (which is chosen seemingly at random) with all the players to see who gets to roll first and with how many dice. Many of the squares your Mii lands on are interactive and lead to further fun. My seven-year-old is obsessed with Board Game Island.

My favorite is Balance Boat. Unlike many of the other games on the disc, Balance Boat has you work cooperatively with a partner to balance Miis on the mast of a ship. Within the game, you play cooperative mini-games to determine what size Mii you each place.

Honestly, talking (or writing) about this game doesn't do it justice. Here are my main points about why I like this game and wholeheartedly recommend it:

• It is absolutely family friendly. There is no violence. Yes, there is some competition, but it is adorable, funny, and silly.

• It is social. There are single player options, but the most fun with this game comes from playing with one to four players. You're going to laugh when you play it. Promise.

• You know how if you have kids, someone always gets upset that they don't win? Each game here is made up of the game itself and a multitude of mini-games. Each player is going to be able to win some and lose some.

• There are endless options of how to play the game. There are many game options and dozens of mini-game options. You won't get bored.

The only negatives that I see in this game is that sometimes the games can last a little too long—45 minutes to an hour (although there are 5, 15, and 30 minute options for games as well). Every once in a while you will get caught in a game of Board Game Island or Spin Off that just lasts a leetle bit tooo long.

Also, there is one mini-game where you are supposed to "rock" your remote to get the on-screen baby to stop crying. It's fairly horrible. I don't go to my Wii for screaming babies. That's three minutes that I wish they had cut from the game. 

Seriously though, if you're looking for a fun Wii game that the whole family can play, go to the Wii Party website and look at all the different ways you can play this game. It is a tremendous amount of fun. I might even suggest that if you have difficult visitors coming to your house this holiday season, this might be a good way to kill a few hours with them. The game is easy to learn and would be fun for pretty much everyone.

List price for Wii Party is $49.99.

Okay, commercial over. Obviously I like the game. I play with my kids in the afternoons sometimes and my husband and I like to play Balance Boat together in the evenings. But I also really enjoyed having a Wii Party with Wii Party and inviting some of my friends over to play the game with me.

These are the people I invited.

Knowing I was going to have to stuff all of these people into my tiny TV room, I was a little agitated about the guest list. I hate narrowing the list down. I ended up inviting mostly people who lived extremely close to me. Except for Canape, who came all the way from North Carolina to come to the party. Although I can't take full (or any) credit for that. She was in town visiting WhyMommy, so we forced her to come.

I put out some pizza, some candy, some margaritas, and my disco ball and we had a blast.

I purposely invited people from a variety of sources: neighbors, "real life" friends, and bloggers. Wii Party made it easy for everyone to get to know each other and relax. It was a fun excuse to get some people together for a pre-holiday party. Thanks to everyone who came!

Honesty Clause: I am a Nintendo Brand Enthusiast. I got a copy of Wii Party, a (blue!) Wii remote, a gift card for pizza, and a disco ball at no charge for hosting the party. I bought all the booze myself. :)