DS/Wii Review: Family Game Night Vol 2

For those wanting to stay in and have a game night, should you look no further?

Family Game Night Vol 2 for the Wii and DS are two perfect examples of dividing opinion. They consist of board games which probably work better in reality than they do digitally, but still they continue to make additions. Let’s take a look at each version and sum it up for families wanting to take these for a spin…
Let’s start with the DS version which consists of Battleship, Connect 4, Bop It and Operation. First of all, completely ignore Bop It for both versions…it’s incredibly dumb and just awful to play. Battleship and Connect 4 are the best games on the DS card, while Operation can be quite awkward and frustrating to handle as you drag items through an incredibly narrow passage. All games use the stylus, but it’s hardly revolutionary stuff. You would expect more than just 4 games though, so the package is hardly value for money either.

There’s no online mode to speak of in both versions. The DS version allows you to pass the system along to someone else or do it with 2 systems via single/multi card play. Playing it solo becomes stale quickly and the game doesn’t have a lot of replay value. I cannot imagine anyone playing this on a Saturday night when there’s nothing on the TV…which is a shame. I don’t understand why they didn’t include some of the games from the Wii/XBLA versions on the DS version; I would feel short-changed if I bought this game.
The Wii version has Connect 4, Bop It, Operation, Pictureka and Jenga. Connect 4 plays simple enough, Bop It is awful, Operation is damn fun to play but is perhaps too easy thanks to the Wii controls. Jenga is perhaps the most awkward game as pulling out block is incredibly hard work with difficult control. Pictureka basically tells you to spot so many items on a number of cards full of multiple objects and ask you to click on them in time. It’s simple but makes good use of the Wii’s pointer. In terms of multiplayer, you can pass the remote around or play with up to 4 other players. It would have been nice to have online play like in the XBLA version, but alas I wasn’t expecting it too much.

Visually, both games are fairly basic and hardly push the hardware they run on. You can customise Mr Potato Head with items you unlock, but that’s probably the only thing that is meant to be impressive when it clearly isn’t. Music is annoying, but you can turn it off if you want.

The Verdict

Hasbro Family Game Night Vol 2 on DS/Wii is a very mixed bag. The DS version is simplistic but isn’t that much fun to play, while the Wii version is more family orientated but with the lack of replay value, online multiplayer and two average games…you’ll wonder if it’s better to get the real board games instead of these.