This Nintendo Wii game is really a birthday planner where the Wii becomes the central hub around which you can build a contemporary birthday party. Birthday Party Bash blends new technology with old-fashioned birthday traditions to create a 21st century birthday party.
For many parents, the thought of hosting 12 little kids for a couple of hours of entertainment can seem daunting. The key to managing so many children is planning. That's what Birthday Party Bash provides you.
It starts with a six-week plan. The game manual sets out how to organize the party from setting a date, choosing a theme, and sending out the included invitation cards to planning the food and crafts and then practicing the Wii games that will be played during the party. The manual also gives you some fun food recipes, including healthy fruit smoothies and traditional birthday cupcakes.
Lest you think that this game promotes playing video games as your sole entertainment, it does not. It is full of ideas of how you combine playing some fun multiplayer minigames on the Wii with other non-gaming activities. Birthday Party Bash is best described as a useful tool for planning a high-tech party.
Birthday Party Bash offers three ways to use the game in a party setting: Custom Party, Quick Party, and Free Play. In the Custom Party mode, the game does some of the organization for you. Before the party begins, you choose a theme (10 are available, from pirates to stuffed animals) and customize up to 12 players' names and looks; then the software keeps track of whose turn it is to play the 15 randomly selected minigames. Each minigame is played by four players at a time, with the computer controlling extra players if you have less than four. After every minigame, the party will earn a decoration to place in your in-game party room. When the room is fully decorated, the game will have everyone sing Happy Birthday.
By selecting Quick Party, you can choose a theme and which of the 22 available games you want to play. You will have to keep track of whose turn it is to play. By using the Free Play mode, you can simply play any of the games in any order and as often as you like.
With 22 multiplayer games, there is something for everyone. You'll find traditional games like hot potato, musical chairs, sack races, and smacking a piñata. Some are only possible on the Wii, like shooting gremlins with lasers to turn them into teddy bears. A few of the games, like the maze game Candle Ball, are duds. But most of the games are quite good. In Pin the Tail, instead of being blindfolded, you move your Wii remote around on the outside of a closed barn door while listening to the speaker on your remote. It will send out a series of fast clicks when you get close to the donkey. You pin your ribbon on the outside of the door, and then it opens to reveal which player was closest. Another fun one is Balloon Popper, in which you point the Wii remote at the screen to pop more balloons than everyone else. The manual suggests also playing the real world game of "Back-to-back-balloon-pop" where you divide your party-goers into pairs and have them stand back to back. You then place a balloon between their backs and have them try to pop it.
Birthday Party Bash makes holding an at-home birthday party easy. It provides fun suggestions of how to use the Wii as well as real-world activities to create a memorable birthday party. As a veteran birthday party planner for two boys, I would much prefer to let 12 little boys whack a virtual piñata on my Wii than one hanging inside my house. On the other hand, I wouldn't hold a sack race on the Wii; rather, I would organize one outside on my lawn. But that is the beauty of this nifty software, it can be customized to your tastes. It helps to put the fun into a birthday party without experiencing any of the stress.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.