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Review: Wii Family Game Night 3

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 27-12-2010

Wii Family Game Night 3 from EA is the ultimate game for city-dwellers who can’t store lots of boxes, or for harried parents who are tired of keeping track of lots of games pieces. Packed into a simple Wii package are Wii versions of old-time family favorites Clue, MouseTrap, The Game of Life, and Yahtzee. Dads who haven’t played these games in 20 years will recognize familiar rules and playing strategies for all of them, except Twister which resembles the down-on-the-floor human tangle in no way whatsoever.

Wii Family Night 3 will also appeal to dads who no longer have the energy to sit upright and roll the dice and move their playing piece along. Dad can lean back in a nice chair and just press the A button to roll the dice. His avatar happily moves the required number of spaces for him.

I may be missing something, but this is the first non-Nintendo game I’ve played I think where our Wii avatars were integrated into the game rather than having us create new characters or use ones already in the game. We all liked that since it was clear who was who in each game we played.

Our kids and I had a fun time with CLUE. I enjoyed reliving old memories of Colonel Mustard in the Library with a Knife. The game does exercise logic through the process of elimination and kept us interested for most of the 20 minute “short game.”   

Mousetrap was fun one time through, mostly to see how Wii would replicate the building experience. The game moved quickly up until the end when, as adults will remember, the finale takes forever as you wait for a player to land inside the “cheese wheel” (and under the cage” while simultaneously another player lands on the crank. At this point, the game went on five minutes too long. Unfortunately, for an adult, with all luck and no skill, loses its magic once you see the “contraption” in action a few times. Luckily, there is a remix that allows variations on this theme.

Twister is not the Twister you remember. It is a version of other “Tap Tap” games that have you hit different buttons on the remote in specified patterns in time with the beat. As it turns out, this is a game that is far easier for younger minds and fingers. After two tries at it, I vowed never to play again.

The other two games are Yahtzee and The Game of Life which are more true to the originals.

We also liked that all the games had a “remix” option with new variations on the original rules, but also allow players to choose a short version of a game so you can have a good play experience without staying up way past bedtime.

Family Game Night 3 has good playing value, especially for younger kids who have the patience to play games with spinners and dice for long periods of time. AFamily Game Night 1 and 2 bundle is available fro $49.00 on Amazon. It includes Wii versions of Connect Four, Battleship, Yahtzee, Boggle, Sorry, Sorry, Sliders, Operation, Jenga, Connect 4×4, Bop-it and Pictureka.

All games are available for up to 4 players, which is what we look for in family games.

Pros:

1. Fun and nostalgic

2. You can throw out all those boxes of games and lost pieces

3. “Remixes” of old games, especially Mousetrap add interest for players and dads curious to see a new spin on an old favorite.

4. Good for up to 4 players.

5. Allows “short game” options for faster game play (ex. In Clue, some possibilities pre-eliminated).

Cons

1. Something is lost without the family looking at each other across a table playing games. We talked and had fun, but I wondered whether something was missing versus a traditional board game.

2. Mini games are pretty lame, but not really needed given the other game play.

Wii Family Game Night 3 is $39.95 at Amazon.

GreatDad.com Review Policy: The featured product for this review was provided to us, at no cost, by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. We do not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about products. We only review products that we have personally tested and used in our own homes, and all opinions expressed are our own.