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Hide Your Remotes, It's Time for a Wii Party
by Brad Shoemaker on
Why does it sound like there's a cow between the couch cushions?
Jeff and I spent some time this morning playing Wii Party, a collection of over 80 minigames spread across 13 different modes, and...
Wait a minute, get back here. I'm still talking!
OK, Wii Party is, um, a Wii party game. It's another minigame collection. But it's a first-party minigame collection, and everyone at Nintendo EAD from Miyamoto on down is said to be involved in some capacity. And truthfully, Wii Party has some pretty unusual minigame designs to offer.
The best one we got to try is basically hide-and-seek-the-Wii-Remote. Nintendo had us leave the room for a couple of minutes while they stashed controllers in some insidiously out-of-the-way places around our studio. Granted, there are probably more weird nooks and crannies in a shooting space full of cameras and video equipment than there are in the typical living room, but you guys will probably be able to get creative with it.
Anyway, the gist of the game was that after those couple minutes, Jeff and I had to come back in and then find all four Wii Remotes within a two-minute time limit. This led to a ridiculous two-minute scramble of turning over chairs and rifling through sofa cushions, desperately trying to find four controllers that were emitting monkey, horse, and elephant sounds.
The remotes ended up being in unexpected places like up in the rafters, but we were pulling pictures off the walls and generally going kind of nuts, since those tinny little Remote speakers don't exactly project sound in a way that's easy to pinpoint. We only got one of the four at the end of the two minutes, but then, Nintendo's PR is pretty devious that way.
There's a whole separate segment of Wii Party that focuses on "pair games" which are supposed to gauge how compatible you are with your partner. (Think of it like an E-for-Everyone version of Love Connection.) Jeff and one of Nintendo's reps had to each secretly answer five multiple-choice questions (favorite pizza topping, trains versus planes) and then play a minigame where each person turned one end of an invisible jump rope.
The game basically feeds the differences between your answers, and how well you performed in the two-player action game, and comes up with a percentage that shows how compatible you are. Jeff and the Nintendo rep ended up at 56 percent; pretty impressive, considering they only matched on one out of the five questions. Their jump-roping score was practically flawless, though. ...there might have been a genuine spark there. I don't know, ask Jeff about it later.
Sure, Wii Party has plenty of more-traditional minigames, like Mii bingo and bumper car-style action challenges and such, and these can be tied together by rudimentary best-of-three and board game modes (though the board game metagame actually looked about as full-featured as Mario Party). But that hide-and-seek thing in particular convinced me there might be some genuinely surprising things in Wii Party, a game I had pretty much written off as "just another Wii Sports" without ever having seen it. Instead, you can probably expect some ridiculous video of Wii Party once a final copy rolls into the office in a few weeks.
Besides, how can you sit there and argue with anyone having as much fun as these people?!