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Wii Party Hands-On

"Get your Miis together and play a variety of quick and fun minigames in Nintendo's upcoming party game. "

Now before you dismiss this as another minigame compilation, we had a chance to play a few rounds in Wii Party and had a good time with it. While you're probably wondering where Mario is and why there aren't any online capabilities, it does, however, let you have your own customizable Miis and highlights what makes party games fun to begin with--interaction. The game boasts 13 different game modes and more than 80 minigames, so you're not limited to hopping along a board game and rolling dice every turn. It does feature traditional board-game-style play, but there are a variety of games included with different objectives to change things up.

An example of teamwork.

In our demo, we started off with an island-themed board game and played a quick minigame to see who would go first. The game involves shaking the remote to get your Mii to run for a flag on the other side of a sandy beach. Once you get close enough, hit the A button to dive for it. It's not complicated, but if you don't start as soon as the gun goes off, you're likely not going to make it to the flag first. By winning (or not coming in last), you get an extra die to roll with on your turn. As you make your way across the board, events will happen that will spice things up. For example, you could be chased around the board by some wild animals or abducted by aliens and then transplanted somewhere else--that kind of thing. This is all set in a lovely tropical environment, so even though you're playing competitively, there's a nice laid-back feel to the whole experience.

The board-game mode is just one of five game modes where you have an overall goal to achieve and minigames are scattered in between turns. In Globe Trot, you use cards to move around the map and visit locations from around the world. There's also a bingo game that should be familiar to most people, so you can play a rousing game of bingo along with frantic minigames sprinkled within.

What's interesting are the pair minigames, where two people must work cooperatively together and must also answer a series of questions to get an overall compatibility score. We were asked questions such as whether we preferred peanut butter or jelly and what kind of office supply we would use to attack a ninja (a stapler, obviously). After the round of questioning, we played a minigame where our Miis were in space suits and linked together by a rope. We had to tilt the remote to navigate through a field of asteroids and use the 2 button to use our jetpack to move upward toward the finish line. Whenever you bump into anything, you'll be stunned for a few seconds, so it's up to your partner to try to drag you out of there. There's a lot of coordinating so that you don't end up trying to force each other to go in the opposite direction. Once you're finished, you're given a score based on your performance and on how your answers matched up.



The last game type we played was house-party games, and we were told to remove the wrist strap because we weren't going to use the remote the way we normally would. One game involved placing all the remotes down on a table, and when an animal appeared onscreen, we had to grab the remote that made the noise of the corresponding animal. It's a lot harder than you would think, because it's difficult to tell which remote the correct sound is coming from. That and you're likely going to be fending off your friends who are eagerly hovering over the remotes to try to get their hands on the right one. The other house-party game involved hiding the remotes, so a couple of people stayed in the demo room to hide the remotes while the rest of us waited outside. Depending on how cluttered your living room is, this game could be really easy or really tricky. The remotes do make a sound every 10 seconds or so to give you a hint.

With more than 80 minigames to check out, it'll be a while before we get through them all. But we did enjoy the games that we got to play and look forward to spending more time with Wii Party. Look for more updates in the coming weeks before the game is released on October 3.

Posted on Sep 09, 2010



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