MySims Party Wii
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Electronic Arts
With two successful MySims titles to date it's no surprise to find that future games in the series have been planned. The first of these is MySims Party. The game is essentially a mini-game collection involving some of the characters you've already met in the first two MySims titles. It's actually quite a charming game but it must be made clear from the outset of this review that it's a game that's squarely aimed at younger children with a fairly low level of difficulty and almost everyone else will find it a little too easy.
MySims Party offers three different modes. In Dream Festival mode you and up to three others can take part in a variety of festivals. Each festival has its own host (who is one of the characters from the town in MySims such as Buddy or Mayor Rosalyn) and each one is comprised of a collection of mini-games. Playing through a festival will unlock other festivals for you to take part in. In total there are around 50 different mini-games to enjoy. In addition to the Dream Festival mode there's also a Mini-game mode which allows you to jump right into any of the mini-games you've unlocked in the Dream Festival mode. Both Dream Festival and Mini-game mode support up to four players. Finally there's a Ranking mode which simply allows you to upload your scores from the other two modes so that you can see how you compare to other MySims fans from around the world.
The mini-games are, for the most part, quite enjoyable and make decent, if a little too simple, use of the Wii remote's motion controls. Each mini-game has a theme such as food, robots, sports and ghosts etc. Each player controls a team of two characters. Each character has four different attributes: strength, speed, stamina and luck. Every mini-game focuses on one or more attributes, so you'll want to pick the character from your team who has the best chance of winning the game. Your MySims can become tired during the course of a festival and their attribute levels can deplete so you'll want to avoid using the same team member continuously. That said, there are surprise events that occur which can help. You're given the option to pick a card and some of the cards can offer attribute boosts.
In some respects the game could have been better. The character creation options are very limited. In fact you're simply customising existing characters rather than truly creating your own character. The whole process of the customisation is rather fiddly too, which is unfortunate given the age of the children this game is being aimed at. There could have been a greater variation of mini-games to play. Too many of them are slight variations of other mini-games that have been included. Some might even argue that the mini-games are too easy but the difficulty level is probably about right given that it's a game aimed at younger children.
Graphically you're getting exactly the same as you were in previous MySims titles which is no bad thing as those games were visually pleasing. That said, the town definitely looks more like it did in the original MySims which is to be expected giving the fantasy elements that were introduced in MySims Kingdom. The MySims are still the same cute, bobble-headed characters and the game's colour palette is as bright and cheery as ever which is no surprise given that the game is targeted at a younger audience.
MySims Party won't give deaf gamers any problems. The MySims speak their unique brand of gibberish and all meaningful dialogue is shown in text. All tutorial messages are shown in text and you'll also find some information is conveyed through diagrams to illustrate the controls for each mini-game. In fact the game is just as deaf gamer friendly as the previous MySims games meaning there aren't any obstacles to enjoying the game.
I daresay some may feel a little disappointed that MySims Party doesn't offer more challenging mini-games or that it doesn't replicate a Mario Party experience to any great extent. However, it's a game that will please its target audience and that's what really matters. The ability for up to four players to engage in the Dream Festival mode is really what makes the game interesting. Some may have hoped for online multiplayer support but I suspect that younger children would prefer to play against friends or relatives who are sat next to them rather than someone they cannot see. All things considered then, it's a game that's well suited for its target audience (younger children who also enjoyed the previous MySims games) but it probably won't appeal to those who are looking for a more challenging mini-game collection.