It seems that the days of families pulling out a board game and crowding around a table to play are quickly fading. That, at least, is the hope of developer EA as they launch the second Hasbro Family Game Night into the world of the Wii. The question is whether consumers actually want an electronic equivalent of their favourite games, and this could come down to many factors. Value for money for example; would it be cheaper to buy the board games themselves? Or perhaps an array of additional features to make the old classics more exciting? As we consider the highlights and the lowlights of this title we’ll attempt to establish whether this is a game worth buying.
Well in terms of value for money, Hasbro Family Game Night 2 does seem to deliver in that you’ll be treated to five individual games for the average cost of a new Wii game. This does work out cheaper than buying each of the replicated games individually (assuming you don’t already own any of them). Each individual game also offers a different mode of gameplay to shake things up a bit, with additional features and functionality. Unfortunately this isn’t always particularly successful.
So let’s look at the actual games that are included within this package:
Connect 4 x 4 is a more advanced version of the original classic in that if offers the ability for up to four players to place their pieces within a grid. Different types of pieces that can usher in power-ups do add extra complexity to the remixed edition of the game. Unfortunately though, unless you have three human opponents to play with you will be left facing the irritatingly flawless computer AI, reducing the fun that could be had.
Operation as a board game involved pulling pieces out of a body without allowing them to touch the edges which would set off a noise. The computerised version doesn’t change the principle, but does make the removal of pieces more complex as you delve deeply within your patient. The controls feel somewhat frustrating on this game which is a shame as the Wii Remote could have been an excellent method of control for the old favourite.
The aim of the game in Pictureka is to find a picture within a certain scene, you and your fellow gamers will take turns to do so within a short time limit which can make things feel frantic.
Jenga involves having a steady hand to slowly pull blocks out from a tower, replacing them on top once removed. This is arguably the best of the bunch, the Wii Remote works well and it’s easy to work your way around the tower itself to find the best pieces to pull.
Bop it on the other hand is possibly the worst of the set of five. The addictive physical version of this game forces you to undertake certain actions when instructed such as twisting a section of the device. This doesn’t replicate well into an electronic game due to the repetitiveness and the fact that it doesn’t seem to matter how you move the Wii Remote.
Mini games generated from the five main games can also be enjoyed, though without much lasting appeal. Unfortunately, none of the games within Hasbro Family Game Night 2 hold much more than a novelty value, unlikely to be long-lived. You may find yourself wishing that you’d spent a little extra cash to buy the original board games instead.