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Babysitting Party is one of the similarly titled Party games from Ubisoft. It offers four player minigames themed around child care and delivers a surprisingly well rounded experiences more akin to Mario and Sonic at the Olympics than the low cover price may suggest.
Mini Games 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.
Baby Sitting Party takes the player through a series of events arbitrarily grouped by season. As the events unfold there is a side narrative about learning to baby sit the various toddlers.
Each of these party games (like Raving Rabbid TV Party Wii, Sports Party Wii or Movie Studio Party Wii) offer a variety of activities around a particular theme. They all have in common high quality presentation and well labeled packaging that indicate how many players can take part and how many different games are provided.
This is one of the best presented games in the Ubisoft party series. The minigames themselves continue these high production values with games that are both engaging and nuanced. In single player mode each game can take a few goes to get to grips with, in multiplayer mode however they come into their own - turning into fully fledge sofa battles.
Each game uses the Wii-mote in a variety of ways to control the action. The standard shaking and waggling are joined by more intentional movements such as the flip flop used to get your toddler to run in the race game. Each game uses the Wii-mote in a variety of ways to control the action. The standard shaking and waggling are joined by more intentional movements such as the flip flop used to get your toddler to run in the race game. There is the option of introducing the balance board from Wii-Fit but this is restricted to the single player game which limits the fun where more players want to get invovled.
Although not as reliant on Wii-mote pointing as Fun Far Party Wii, this trickier control method still feature here and there. The game avoids asking for too much fine detailed control from the player (as Sports Party Wii did) and ensures that it is accessible to all.
As the player progresses they can unlock various novelty costumes for the toddlers - that come into their own when customising characters for multiplayer action. This sort of attention to presentational detail is seen throughout.
Younger players will be attracted to the toddler theme of the game and cutesy graphics. However, once it's being player there is enough content here to get the rest of the family involved.
Each season has one longer 'Mad Dash' event that combines a series of assault course type stages. This is where it gets closest to Mario and Sonic at the Olympics Wii by providing an extended competitive (and sweat inducing) multiplayer challenge.
Battling your way to the front of the field, only to see your lead slowly ebb away as your three year old somehow has the knack to get their toddler triking the fastest is one of the most frustrating yet entertaining moments of recent play sessions in our house.
Although minigame collections can usually be played in a spare 15 minutes. Babysitting Party's single player mode makes you work through all eight or nine events in a season before you can quit and save. This can take a good half an hour. Multiplayer action can be tailored more to the available time and audience.
Young players will find most of the games pretty easy to get into. The more complex and Wii-mote pointing events can soon be learnt with a bit of grown up input. Players have to be willing to loose as well as win - something that was unexpectedly problematic for our kids (3 and 5).
Intermediate players will enjoy the involved games a little more, and also the ability to collect costumes with which to challenge each other after the kids are in bed. This is a game as suited to after dinner entertainment as it is weekend kids playtime.
Expert gamers may find some of the games a little simplistic - particularly in single player. They are probably better served by Mario and Sonic at the Olympics Wii or Guinness World Records Wii that both extend the minigames into fully fledged experiences.
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