With the festive season in full swing, it’s always a good time to gather the family together and have a good gaming session. Hasbro is a brand known for their board games, they have again teamed up with EA Games to bring us the latest instalment of the Family Game Night series. This time, however, they have tried to change things up by making the game look like a game show. We have five games at our disposal here, all with a twist on them.
Since it’s a Wii title, your hand gestures are used to control this game. This involves moving the controller back and forth, twisting, holding buttons then letting them go. A good aspect about using these controls is that it gives this game a universal appeal, all ages can and should play. That is after all the point of a family game. So when you start you can either choose to play individual games to practise them or just jump right in to the game show version. As mentioned, there are five games you can play, these are: Connect Four Basketball, Bop-It Bobtagon, Scrabble Flash, Sorry! Sliders and Yatzhee! Bowling.
These are all fun and enjoyed much more with family and friends around as the AI is very dumb and you will win each time. We all know Connect Four, a basic game that you win by putting four counters vertically, diagonally or horizontally. The twist here is that your counters take then form of basketballs and you need to log them into the right hoops to getthemt down the board. This is fun to do and great with family next to you so you can push each other out the way. The Bop-it game puts your Mii avatars against each other standing on a platform, your job is to perform the prompts on screen to bop-it, kick-it, twist-it, pull-it or whack-it. These are done by pressing the a/b buttons, twisting the controller, pulling it or moving it down. The winner is the one that performs the right task and the more you get right the more the meter on the top fills with your colour. This does have a few issues with recognition but most of the time the sensor picks up the movements.
Scrabble Flash is my least favourite game, probably because I have to think. It’s simply a row of letters to rearrange and the person with the most words at the end of a time period wins. Sorry! Sliders is a very fun game, you have to slide your marker down the course to a circle target with points, similar to curling. It’s easy to push them, first pick the direction with a moving arrow, then judge the power and flick the controller up to launch it. There is sometimes an element of luck with this as you need to judge your movements perfectly to get the right placement. You can also push your previous markers, but beware as your opponents can push yours out of bounds as well.
Yatzhee! Bowling is the final game, as the name suggests this is a mix of bowling and Yatzhee! You use the same movements as the Sorry! Sliders game but this time knocking down pins with numbers on them. You then have to choose which pins to keep and which pins to bowl at again to improve your hand. You have three tries to get the best hand you can, these are similar to poker hands. So one pair, full house, four of a kind and so on. This game is bright colourful and loud. All the things you would expect from a game show.
The graphics are typically blocky but somehow they work very well. Mr Potatoehead being your host just feels right and his costume changes for each game as well. The character animations are smooth and flow very well. In fact this game has a good flow to it. The sound is cheerful and crisp with all the music and sound effects adding atmosphere to each game. There is also a good replay value to this, as each game has another version to play through. This is just a time limit added or another stipulation but it’s a good touch.These are also crap loads of trophies to unlock and play for.
Overall, this is a very fun game for the family to play with during this period. In fact during any period, as it brings everyone from all ages together and allows a wide collection of people to enjoy video games. The board games are instantly recognisable and the new twists give each game a new dimension. The bold colours and sounds adds to the game show feel and this is a real winner from EA and Hasbro.
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