Hasbro Family Game Night Vol. 2 Wii Review

When Hasbro Family Game Night was released last year, I thought it was a nice collection of famous Hasbro games, with the classic rules intact along with some alternative ways to play each game. This sequel follows the template of the original, although EA didn’t stop there.

In Volume 2 we once again get a set of six games, amongst these are two variations of Connect 4 (the original and 4×4), Operation, Jenga, Bop it, and Pictureka. Loading times between selecting and playing a game are a repeat of the original, meaning you simply select the box of your chosen game, and seconds later it’s there on the virtual table waiting for you to interact with it. The presentation is also excellent and Mr. Potato Head can even be customised with unlock-able parts, which will most likely be a lot of fun for its young target audience.

As for games, Connect 4×4 is the same idea as the original (also included if you‘d prefer a more simple game) Connect 4, though there’s three different discs, it’s designed for four players, and it’s played on a two-sided grid, leading to different strategies that just weren’t possible in the original. Operation makes wise use of the Wii remote: firstly finding the specified problem (mobile phones, butterflies, you name it) and then guiding it out of the patients body, though this virtual representation can get a little dull at times. Jenga is a tower block game in which players take it in turns to remove (pointing and pulling with the remote) individual blocks, praying that the whole thing won’t topple down (ah well, at least it doesn’t make quite the mess that the real thing does). Bop It is the kind of thing that the Wii remote was made for, as it makes a decent substitute for an actual Bop it controller. The game basically has you following instructions and gestures to carry out with the virtual Bop It controller, although I think MotionPlus support would have done this game a lot of favours, as with the vanilla remote it’s more imprecise than it should be. Finally, Pictureka demands you to search for specific things in a muddle of pictures, believe me when you’re against the clock, it’s really tough for your eyes to do you a good service.

All the above are the classic rules, though like the original, Volume 2 also has some remixed rules, as well: you know, to make it even more worthy of pulling you away from the actual physical games. In remixed mode for example, Bop it adds in some more commands, whilst Jenga has you removing only the blocks that you are instructed to, determined by the drawing of a card.

So, we’ve got five new games in there, but where EA could have simply decided to stop, they have actually pushed on and, because of this, we now have the total delight that is the Family Game Show. This mode places you into a game show-like studio, with Mr. Potato Head as the host and miis starring as contestants. Players take it in turns to spin a wheel, you’ll then be playing the game that the wheel comes to a stop on, though it is possible for all players to nudge the said wheel to something else that may better take their individual fancy. The games here aren’t based on the classic rules, instead they are mini games that are generally over in a matter of minutes or seconds, with the mii of the winner of each game moving forward towards the finishing line of the zone. The amount of zones won at the end of the game will then determine how many lives you have remaining for the final round. Family Game Show is a great addition and a fun manner in which to spend an evening with family or friends.

If you’re without others to play against, the substitute is High Score Mania. This mode gives you a random string of ten mini games, in which the task is to score as well as possible in each one to hopefully end with an overall score to be proud of. Add in the potential for score multipliers – which are cancelled out if you fail to meet a target score in the next game – and the result is a decent mode for the solo player.

This collection of Hasbro properties may not be as strong as last year’s showing, though it’s still a likeable package and EA deserve praise for once again making it a nice alternative to the real world games. But overall, it’s actually a bit of a difficult game to rate, as some of the games are only just decent (Operation), whilst others are badly implemented (Bop It), though they are made better by remixed rules and the Family Game Show feature, so I’ve plumped for a solid 7 then.