Hasbro Family Game Night Wii Review
Much like Monopoly (which Andrew reviewed recently and quite enjoyed), Hasbro Family Game Night has obviously been released in time for the festive season. EA may have some good intentions in getting families together and things like that, but releasing a compilation of famous games during this period is certainly a shrewd business decision as well.
What we have here is a collection of six games, and they’re all well known Hasbro (the title may have already given that away to you) properties. Connect 4, Battleship, Yahtzee, Boggle, Sorry! and Sorry! Sliders are the included games and you’ve probably played at least one or two in your lifetime.
Hasbro Family Game Night has an instant appeal courtesy of some fantastic presentation. Mr Potato Head features prominently (he can be turned off if you prefer your potatoes on a plate) and selecting games has you scrolling over their boxes, choosing one and then witnessing the selection being removed from its box and packed back up (this fortunately happens a lot quicker than it does with tidying away a physical game) when you‘re finished playing. It’s obviously aiming for good casual fun and the presentation is certainly a lot of fun, this is made even better by some really impressive loading times (there’s not a loading screen in sight) when you switch between games and each player profile even gets their own room, complete with achievements earned from playing each game. These achievements show up as customisable furniture and decoratives, proving once again that thought has actually been put into the visual design of the game.
I was already familiar with guessing where my opponents ships are in order to wipe out their entire fleet on Battleship (I’m not a fan of such games of chance) and combining four coloured chips in vertical, horizontal or diagonal rows to score points in Connect 4. With Hasbro Family Game Night I also discovered that the likes of Sorry!, Boggle and Yahtzee are good games that I missed out on in my youth. I particularly like that you can move in different directions whilst playing Sorry! as it often makes for thoughtful play as you attempt to get your four playing pieces home. Boggle is an excellent game that has you using your head and racing against the clock to make words out of lettered dice, naturally to me it often just looked like nothing more than a sea of letters. Yahtzee is a dice game that consists of 13 rounds and 5 dice, in which you can roll up to three times per round in order to score certain categories, it’s another clever and well thought out game and you aren’t required to tot up your score as the Wii politely does it all for you, a very welcome feature for people like me who can‘t be bothered adding up numbers. Sorry! Sliders is the baby of the bunch (released earlier this year) and is also ridiculously good fun, it’s not a normal board game as such but has you thrusting your playing pieces forward (the motion control makes this difficult to judge at times, perhaps some feedback meters would have been beneficial) to hopefully get a good position in the scoring area, pieces can collide, sometimes losing you or your opponents points or even sending pieces flying off the board (if it’s not one of your own pieces remember to say sorry, whether it’s a heartfelt apology or not).
The basic games are all included then, although EA haven’t stopped there. All the games have variations on their rules which can significantly alter the way that they are played out. Battleship has a super weapons option that adds power-ups into the mix, and Sorry! can be played with bonus cards (one of which returns the furthest piece of each of your opponents to the start area, whilst another allows you to change all your cards for example) and so on. All of these rules really make the collection worthwhile for fans of the included games or those completely new to them.
Hasbro Family Game Night doesn’t forget the mini games thanks to a party mode. You can choose to play for 10, 20 or 30 rounds and then you’ll be playing quick games based on the very games included in the collection. It’s a decent enough option that will suit the casual audience that the game is obviously aimed at.
Hasbro Family Game Night has a good selection of games (Battleship is the worst one in this writers view), fantastic and colourful presentation and is also as customisable as many would hope. It’s certainly a good choice to place in the Wii over the Christmas period and during other get-togethers then, so it certainly succeeds with what it set out to do and even has some features that may pull players away from the traditional games.