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Family Gamer (Wii)
Domestic Gamer (Wii)
Teen Gamer (Wii)
Scripted Gamer (Wii)
Multiplayer Gamer (Wii)
Reporting Gamer (Wii)
Board Gamer (Wii)
Wii-Party tested my girl gamer skills in unexpected ways. Varied minigames wrapped up in unusual collections make this worthwhile for me or my dad.
Wii-Party looks like it's an acquired taste, but as I discovered with my sisters one wet weekend, there is much more to it than a few minigames.
There aren't that many games that us girls really click with, and now we all live in separate houses we don't have so much time to try out new experiences. The other week though, we give Wii-Party a quick try and found ourselves still playing it a few hours later.
The meat of it all is a few hundred minigames, which unlike other third party titles, are each as much about skill and expertise as they are about chance. A lot of these take the popular games from Wii-Sports and Wii-Play, shorten them a little before offering them up in minigame format.
But it was the way these different games are wrapped up into different collections that really kept as playing into the small hours.
First there are a range of board games. This is a little bit like Mario Party, where you progress around a tile based board earning points and extra rolls by performing well in the minigames that punctuate the experience.
But more than Mario Party's derivative boards and tired presentation, Wii-Party's board games are fresh and surprising. We loved the travel themed Globe Trot and Island board games - they both reminded us of teenage years spent playing the Game of Life in our old living room.
It's the variety on offer that really impressed us.
It's the variety on offer that really impressed us. Some games are tests of controller skill like a traditional videogame. Others though challenge your ability to estimate distances or memory or logic. It made us realise just what a narrow set of skills other videogames really make use of.
There are then a series of co-operative collections of minigames. Balance Boat stands out as the real winner here. Each player attempts a minigame that determines the size and weight of a Mii thet then have to balance on a wobbly boat - the heavier their Mii the harder the balancing. It had us in stitches more than once as we sent our poor little Mii's toppling into the sea.
We didn't linger quite as long with the House Party games, which would be better for younger kids we thought. All except one mode that really got us hooked - Bomb Balance. This game makes you pass the Wii-mote from player to player without jogging it. A readout shows picks up any wobbles and if this exceeds the tight limits it explodes. What a great way to use the motion controls - and something completely new.
Our Wii was a really popular thing to get out when all of us girls were back for Christmas or other holidays, but the last year or so we really hadn't touched it. Wii-Party has already proved its worth by getting us to dust of the old console and put it to good use again.
The Wii still seems best suited to games that don't take themselves too seriously.
While other more serious games may offer a more in depth experience, the Wii still seems suited to games like this - that don't take themselves too seriously.
We are still playing Wii-Party a good few weeks after that first flush of enthusiasm. We've moved onto playing the random collections of minigames, it's more direct and lets us get through more games in the time we have available.
As we've all got better at particular games in the collection we've also got a lot more competitive. Each of us have favourite games that we usually win at, but with so many to play we are still coming across fresh challenges.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: