Wii Review: Hasbro Family Game Night

Does this game eliminate the need for board games?

Board games are always a source of argument and enjoyment during the holidays, especially Christmas. Hasbro Family Game Night brings in 6 classic games on one disc, but can it do enough to stop your family from bringing out the original board games out?

First of all, let’s look at the list of the games that Hasbro Family Game Night offers:

Connect 4
Sorry! Sliders

The first 3 are games that I have had much pleasure playing over the years as a child and playing them again did bring back memories of better days. The games are much better to play with friends and family than against the AI which can be quite tricky to beat, even in a game of Connect 4. I was always a wizard at it then I played a few games of it on this and lost a few games which made me livid. I can imagine younger gamers losing their patience with it too, so just be cautious!

Overall, it’s a good mixture of games. Although shaking the Wii Remote to roll the dice in Yahtzee doesn’t feel as good as the real thing, it can save a small rainforest thanks to it eliminating the need for paper to write your scores down on. It would have been nice to have a few more games like Scrabble, which thanks to the lack of online support on the Wii makes it impossible to do. Having no online really hurts the game, I know they think that the game has this whole “family” feel to it, but it would have been nice to play other people other than them. It seems like another missed opportunity, which is a real shame. I can see the potential of the game, but it lacks the charm of the board games themselves.

Visually, the game is quite basic to look at. It’s not the worst looking Wii game but doesn’t push the hardware as far as it could easily have. I’m also confused why Mr Potato Head seems to be the game’s mascot, sure it appeals to the kids but not to the whole family. Which brings me to the game’s main fault, I can see it selling really well…but I can’t see it replacing the board games during the holidays, which eliminates the whole point of what they were trying to do.

What could they have done for that to happen? Perhaps offer a few more games? Have online included? Having said all that, I still enjoyed the game…I just can’t see myself or other families playing it during Christmas. I also wonder why the team decide to release the game only on PS2 and Wii. It could have benefited from some nice HD visuals and online courtesy of the PS3 and 360, even if it just turned up on XBLA/PSN.

Not all games will be for everyone. I personally like Yahtzee but hate Battleship, while someone else might feel the exact opposite. The good news is that there’s something for almost everyone here. Although I can’t help thinking that the game really needed Scrabble to make the collection complete, maybe even giving it an edge over the actual game.

Sound quality is pretty average, it’s nothing much to write home about. The controls for each game are fairly simple, although the game does have a tendency to pop up instructions when you don’t want it to. Like if you are thinking where to place a chip in Connect 4 or where to place a ship in Battleship, then you get some awkward pop up. It ruins the experience somewhat.

The Verdict

Hasbro Family Game Night won’t set your house on fire this holiday, but it does have some classic games that are fun to play. The lack of Scrabble and online hurts the game as a whole, but you probably won’t find a much better collection of board games on one disc this year.

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