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Although we have yet to see a Buzz PS3 quality quiz game on the Wii, there are now quite a few contenders. TV Show Party may lack the age tailoring of Smarty Pants, the celebrity endorsement of Cheggers' Party Quiz or the cartoon characters of Disney: Think Fast is still provides a solid quiz experience with not a few glimmers of innovation.
Minigames come in a variety of shapes and sizes. What unites the genre is the speed with which players can pickup the games and the relatively short time required to complete a level or two.
TV Show King Party is, as its name suggests, setup like a traditional TV game show. You pick the number of contestants choose your name and appearance before working through a series of quiz rounds. The biggest novelty here is the use of the Mii characters you have on your Wii to represent the contestants. The novelty of our family crafted personas still brings a smile to my face.
The game offers a difficulty setting, although this is applied to all players. This misses the trick pulled by Smarty Pants that let you enter an age for each contestant that was then used to tailor their questions.
This is a much more straight forward quiz game than the others on the Wii. Each round is largely the same multi-choice format, where the player points to and selects their answer. The quicker you select the more points you can win. This is mixed up a little by the spotlight and scratch card modes that limit how much of the answers you can see.
In between each round players have the option of spinning the wheel. This adds a nice opportunity for trailing players to catch up. Although if they are unlucky with this gamble they can also loose some or all of their points. The wheel is spun with a shake of the Wii-mote and is the only aspect of the game that requires the Wii's bespoke controllers. Other quiz games like Smarty Pants Wii do more to make use of the novel control system.
The questions in the game follow the familiar quiz game categories such as science and nature, music, entertainment and so on. Here though they have to be read from the screen with only sarcastic comments from the presenter. This again misses a trick and makes the game more tricky for youngsters - other quiz games such as Disney: Think Fast Wii read out each question as they appear.
Families and groups will be attracted to another opportunity to pit themselves against each other. After dinner entertainment or rainy Sunday afternoons are well catered for by this low barrier to entry experience. As players of all abilities point and select their answers the tension mounts as the round draws to a close. Getting in first becomes a matter of pride as much as winning the points.
You can select how many rounds you want to play, and how many players which enables games to be setup for anything between fifteen minutes to a good hour or so. All players need to be able to sit close enough to the screen to read it clearly and point the Wii-mote to select their answers - so some preparation of the play space may be needed beforehand.
The fiddley pointing to select answers and the lack of voiced questions make this less appealing to younger players. That said, the range of topics covered means that if they play with a grown up or older sibling they will still have something to contribute. But there is no denying that Disney: Think Fast Wii provides a more tailored young person's experience.
Intermediate players will enjoy the simplicity here, and the speed with which a game can be set up and started. This makes it ideal for after dinner entertainment, and once turned up to hard will challenge most people's general knowledge.
Experts may balk at the cartoony stylings and second rate host. They will probably be better served by high impact stylings and vibrant visuals of Buzz PS3.
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.
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