D3 Publisher recently released a budget priced mini-game collection called Family Party: 30 Great Games. Quite a big build up. Can all thirty games truly be called great? After a half hour of playing alone against 3 computer opponents, forty minutes playing with another person and two computer opponents and almost an hour playing against other people, I can say that they are not. In fact, the flawed and overcomplicated controls flaw what could have been a promising collection. Still, I picked out five of the most decent games among the fifteen initial titles available.
Now, while it says there are 30 games, you must unlock half of them. After playing both the single player mode repeatedly, and attempting the multiplayer mode with friends, I’ve managed to unlock a grand total of – one extra game. Plate spinning. Since the controls make unlocking a futile endeavor, I figured it would be best to go with the ones you actually can unlock.
Let me preface this list by saying that there are no real winners in Family Party: 30
Mediocre Great Games. As one of the player’s fiance put it, as four of us repeatedly tried to accomplish something in one of the title’s mini-games, it is painful to watch. These five games, however, are the least painful and can sometimes be entertaining. At the very least, if you’re playing with friends, you’ll get a kick out of how bad you’re all failing.
#1: The Bombardment Bridge
Ah, Bombardment Bridge. Its sort of like dodgeball, except three players team up against a single person in an attempt to halt the lone player’s progress across the bridge. This game is nearly great for three reasons. First, the controls aren’t as complicated as the rest of the other mini-games. The player running the gauntlet must alternate between pressing 2 and the D-pad to run, and lean the remote left or right to block on the respective sides. The people bombarding the single player all use the D-pad to aim the sight, and the 2 pad to charge up an unleash a ball. Second, it builds unbreakable bonds. You can all team up against a single person and attempt to bring them DOWN. Third, its quick with a simple premise. You won’t find yourself flailing and failing for two minutes (like in some of the OTHER “29 Great Games”.
#2: The Cushion
The Cushion is another game that gets points purely, in part, for simple controls. You’re perched atop a pile of cushions in the middle of an earthquake, and you must move the remote to keep your character from falling over. The remote vibrates whenever an earthquake happens, which is a nice touch. Plus, the characters make hilarious noises as they attempt to keep their balance.
#3: The Fly Catch
The Fly Catch succeeds because it is a bit like Bombardment Bridge – you win when your friends are losing. The goal is to catch fly baseballs. So you aim your baseball where a ball is falling by just directing the pointer at the screen. If a friend is nearby, press B to plow them down. If the ball is near you, press A to catch it. I especially liked how occasionally bombs would fall, and took great joy in plowing into a friend’s avatar so both our characters would be temporarily dazed by the blast. I wasn’t too good at catching, so pushing other people into the line of fire was the only way to give myself an edge.
#4: The Wall
The Wall is an iffy mini-game. Not everyone will like it. One of my friends despised it, because he couldn’t manage to shake the remote and press A or B at the required times. If you can manage to find a happy medium between shaking the remote to make your character run, and pressing either A or B at the same time to make them jump over gaps or plow through paper walls, it can be fun. Especially since you’ll get to gloat. So what if you can’t catch balls in The Fly Catch? You can shake the remote and press A or B at the perfect time to pass this obstacle course! Also – if you do fail during the course, you’ll pick up where you left off, and not back at the beginning.
#5: The Barrel Throw
Once again, The Barrel Throw is a somewhat controversial choice, and had received both love and hate during the multiplayer playthroughs. Some people felt the controls were somehow “wrong,” because even though they’d be holding, then releasing the A button while thrusting the remote up into the air, their barrels would fail to launch. I had no problem with the controls and managed to get first or second place each time this mini-game would come up (and I get to write the list) so I say it’s good. The goal is to successfully toss a barrel over a series of hurdles that keeps getting larger and larger in the least amount of time. If you can perfect the controls, you’ll have no problem becoming a barrel toss master.
Honorable Mention: The Inner Clock
Even though I personally thought The Inner Clock was a bit… over simplistic and out of place, it still could be a bit fun. During one playthrough, there was much teasing that people who were going ridiculously over or under simply didn’t know how to count. The goal is to stop the clock as close as you can to 10, 20 and finally 30 seconds. Its silly and doesn’t require much skill, but still can be fun if you’re playing with friends.
Images Courtesy of D3 Publisher.