Amazingly, for a series we thought could only go downhill after a lackluster debut, the second Family Game Night is a little better than the first. Yes, that’s right – ‘better’. But also only ‘a little’.
The games selected for the Wii treatment this time are far more suited to console jiggery-pokery. Connect 4x4, Operation, Bop It, Jenga and Pictureka are the latest recipients of a digital makeover. Instruction-barking Bop It translates fairly well into remote waggles (even if they don’t always register), and the seek ’n’ solvey Pictureka suits remote-pointing.
Connect 4x4 (Connect 4 but with two layers of counters) only really feels the benefit of being on Wii in its Remix mode, where impossible-in-the-real-world powerups come into play. (All five games have a Remix mode, which adds new challenges.) The tactile fun of real Operation and Jenga is lost in the digital switchover, but at least the Operation controls are well-suited and the Jenga physics are fairly reliable. Snippets of all five games can be played in a high-score mode for players with goldfish-like attention spans.
With less Mr. Potato Head and plenty of customization options, this is a more appealing package than the first Game Night and costs less than buying all five board games. So why’s it only ‘a little’ better than before? Well, it’s dull in single-player; Jenga controls are annoying; Operation gets boring very quickly; the Bop It voice is as irritating as ever; we miss the Operation man’s light-up nose; and we miss the faff of setting up Connect 4. It’s just not the same *sigh*.
Nov 20, 2009