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Wii Party U
SCREENSHOTS

Wii Party U

11/4/2013

56.49

80 mini-games to explore in several different modes, all with the theme of having fun with friends.
The Bottom Line
If you own a Wii U, pick up Wii Party U. It is a great way for a group of people to have fun playing games together.

How to Get Your Party Started

From the opening screen, players have four main ways to explore games: TV Party, House Party, GamePad Party, and Mini-games. There is also an option to talk with Party Phil -- your virtual party host -- who will ask you a few questions and then suggest games. In addition, Nintendo is keeping track of how you and others rate the 80 mini-games in this collection and lets you choose to explore the most popular.

The Modes

By selecting TV Party mode, players can choose among five different board games that weave mini-games into their competitive play. One called Highway Rollers has players moving forward spaces on a gameboard that looks like a jetty that zig-zags over an ocean. While the main gameplay involves rolling dice; the number of dice you roll is determined by your placement in a mini-game that starts the round. The player finishing first gets to roll 10 dice; second place rolls seven dice; third place, four dice, and last place rolls only two. The mini-games vary greatly from games of chance, such as a takeoff on Hot Potato, to ones using your memory to those that have you swinging the Wii remote in a mad frenzy to open up doors.

Going the House Party route means your living room becomes the playground for a variety of wacky multiplayer games that utilize both the GamePad and the Wii remote. In one called Name that Face, one player uses the GamePad's camera to make a face based on a specific direction, such as "you stubbed your toe" or "you're caught in a windstorm." The funny face is then projected on the TV and the other players try to guess the title of the photo. With the GamePad Party, all partying centers around the screen on the GamePad and the TV is not used. The box containing Wii Party U even comes with a separate stand for the GamePad, to make it lie flat on a table. The seven GamePad games are for two players, and range from familiar (Foosball and Baseball) to novel ones.

Game Analysis

Wii Party U makes starting a party easy. With so many access points, groups can find lots of ways to explore the game's content. And with 80 games to explore, there is something for everyone. A nice feature is that all of the mini-games are unlocked from the get-go. Many offer different difficulty levels, and you can decide the length of time played.In addition to doing a masterful job of making the game easy to access, Wii Party U shines by compiling innovative games. Nintendo has come up with new ways to play games using the GamePad. Players can explore a game about pushing the controllers' buttons where the GamePad and several Wii remotes are all lined up together to be used collectively. It's like Twister just with game controls. In another, the player using the GamePad must describe a closeup scene to the other players who are looking at a bigger map. This activity teaches players how to observe important details and then communicate them to your teammates so that they can find you.

This Party Game Has a Few Quirks

As much fun as this game is -- and it's a blast -- it has a few quirks. For many of the games, you can't decide to play with just two or three real people; the game adds virtual players to make up a squad of four. That is fine if you are a player exploring this solo; but in the board games, this means you have to unnecessarily wait while the virtual players take a turn. And you can lose to them, too.

Best For

Here's the bottom line: if you own a Wii U, pick up Wii Party U. It is a great way for a group of people to have fun playing games together. With such a wide variety of challenges, you'll be surprised at how much you can learn about others by playing together. The other reason to add it in your Wii U library of games is that the next time you have a houseful of kids or you're spilling over with relatives, you have an easy way to keep everyone entertained. These games are a riot for all ages. All you have to do is fire up the Wii U and bring in some popcorn.

All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.

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Wii Party U
Released: 10/25/2013
Company: Nintendo
Price: 56.49
ESRB: E (Everyone)
Platforms: Wii U
Available: Amazon

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