Much like Monopoly, Hasbro Family Game Night is one of those puzzling videogame conversions. Yes, there’s the novelty value of seeing your favorite game turned all electronic and TVish, and yes, the games bring new modes that wouldn’t be possible in their traditional form. But really – does anyone love Connect 4 or Boggle so much that they want to run it through their widescreen TV rather than just root around for the board?
Connect 4 and Boggle do best out of the transition to Wii, with powerup counters and new word search options respectively. Yahtzee is Yahtzee, and irritatingly exclamation-marked Sorry! is still the confuso-fest it always was, with its card-based board-hopping. Sorry! Sliders is basically shove ha’penny with Sorry! counters, and though it should work well on Wii (given the success of Wii Sports Bowling and Deca Sport’s curling minigame), the Remote seems to misjudge every swing of your arm, sending playing pieces scattering.
Battleship is by far the poorest update. Despite the flashy graphics, it’s played on one screen and thus relies on everyone looking away while you place your ships. It works well on DS, but here it’s just daft, and shows that these digitized conversions can cause problems rather than solve them. Chuck in an infuriating menu and the constant presence of a whooping, grunting, face-twitching Mr. Potato Head, and this is stretching the definition of ‘fun’.
Dec 11, 2008