Guilty Party contains a series of mysteries to solve. The Wii remote becomes your magnifying glass, your flashlight, your fingerprint kit, and other tools needed to solve the mysteries. You play by taking turns to question suspects, play minigames to gather clues, and use logic to deduce four key characteristics (height, weight, gender, and hair length) from the clues so that you can nab the culprit.
There are many ways to enjoy this game either alone or with up to three other people. It is best to start in the Story Mode to learn how to play and to unlock the rest of the game. In the Story Mode, you solve seven mysteries, all involving the villainous Mr. Valentine. As you play, you will experience over 40 clever, detective-themed minigames. The mysteries take you to different locations including a mansion, a train, an aquarium park, a ship, an opera house, and a flying dirigible.
Once you solve one of the mysteries in the Story Mode, you can replay that mystery in the Party Mode. But, when you do, it will different -- the clues will change, you will play new minigames, and it will end with a new culprit. Party Mode can be explored alone, or with others in both a cooperative or a competitive mode. The replayability in very high, since the mysteries are always changing.
Disney has tapped into its expertise in storytelling to create this robust mystery game filled with quirky, hilarious characters. You play by joining the Dickens Detective Agency, a family-run business headed up by Commodore Dickens. You can choose to be one of six playable family members including Phoebe, the tall, athletic red-headed adult daughter; Kid Riddle, a grandchild who wears a mask and a cape; or Charlotte, the Commodore's elderly sister.
The mysteries are revealed through amusing animations and dialogue involving a variety of characters and suspects. For example, when meeting the Bilge the Butler, he greets you with the droll introduction of "Excessively formal greetings to you."
Players take turns using tokens to move throughout environments, question suspects, collect clues, and make accusations. They can also use and collect Savvy Cards to overcome obstacles. For example, you can play the "Skeleton Key" card to get out of a locked room. These cards can also be used when playing competitively in Party mode and can serve to slow down your competitors or confuse them.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of Guilty Party is the use of minigames to collect clues. Each minigame can be played on three levels of difficulty. Some require logical thinking while others reward quick hand-eye coordination. For example, you may need to stare down a witness by tracking his moving eyes with your remote. In another minigame, you might need to examine two versions of a scene and find the differences. You may even find yourself bribing a witness by quickly moving money from one open palm to another.
Solving the crime is also a fun process. When you accuse a suspect, you must prove your accusation by going back to the clues to show how you deduced each of the four physical characteristics. The game provides you with a Detective Notebook and sketchpad for your notes.
When playing competitively in the Party Mode, the game provides you a way to bluff your opponents. While all players share the same Detective Notebook and each player sees all the clues, only the one collecting it can tell if the information is true or a lie.
This is a really fun game to play as a family. Disney has done a great job of allowing each player to set his or her own difficulty level so that the minigames meet each player's level of expertise. And they adjust in difficulty as you go.
Guilty Party also fun to explore alone. For kids who just like playing the minigames, they can do that as well in the Game Room where they can practice each one, face a random set of minigames (alone or with a friend), or go for endurance by completing as many minigames as possible in a limited amount of time.
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