Hasbro Family Game Night Vol. 3 Wii
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Electronic Arts
For the last couple of years we've had a Hasbro Family Game Night compilation to provide us with a collection of Hasbro's finest to play against family, friends and AI opponents. Christmas is almost upon us and it's time for the third volume of Hasbro Family Game Night series. This year the games included are Cluedo, Twister, The Game of Life, Yahtzee Hands Down and Mouse Trap. I was certainly looking forward to a virtual game of Cluedo. However, I wasn't quite prepared for the interpretation of Cluedo that appears in Hasbro Family Game Night Vol. 3.
It's not just the game of Cluedo that hasn't received a faithful virtual version. In fact don't expect these games to be the same versions you've played for years with family and friends. Elements of the board games have been retained, in fact The Game of Life is actually quite close to the board game, but certainly in the case of Cluedo, Mouse Trap and understandably Twister, the experience may be a little too removed from your board game experiences.
Twister is by far the biggest disappointment here. The game of friendly contortion has been reduced to a poor rhythm game and it's one you'll take a look at and probably promise yourself never to bother with again. You're offered a choice of Pop, Disco and Funk music which is of course irrelevant as far as we're concerned. All you need to do is press the correct buttons at the appropriate time. There's a little bit of memorisation involved as you'll see the button icons scroll across the bottom of the screen before you get to input them at the correct time which you'll see by looking at the command bar at the top of the screen.
I haven't played the Yahtzee Hands Down card game so I was a little unsure of what to expect here. You'll have five cards in your hand and the idea is to match them with one of the Combo Cards (such as Four of a Kind, Full House), that are on the table. Up to five cards can be replaced per turn. So far it's just like classic Yahtzee which uses dice but in Yahtzee Hands Down the cards are coloured and you have to match the colours as well as the numbers that appear on the cards. The game is actually quite decent but games are very short and I don't honestly think there's much longevity here.
Cluedo has very little in common with the board game it’s based on with the exception that a murder has been committed and it's up to you to find out who is responsible. The game includes Rumour Points which you'll acquire by landing on squares with a question mark icon. You'll need to earn Rumour Points to fill your Rumour Bar. With the Rumour Bar filled, you are free to make a suggestion. The game also manages to squeeze in some mini-games too and some of these you'll need to play to earn Rumour Points and others to gain you clues. This version of Cluedo isn't terrible but I would rather have had the real thing instead of some developer's wacky interpretation of the classic game.
The Game of Life doesn't feel too different from the board game. You travel around the board choosing your career, getting married, having children, changing your career and progressing all the way to retirement. It's a decent game but it's annoying how many mini-games have been squeezed into the experience when they really have no place in the game. Of course there's a huge element of luck in the game and very little strategy but then that's a problem with the real board game so it's difficult to be critical about that.
Mouse Trap like Twister is a game that shouldn't really have been included as it just doesn't feel the same. There are some key differences here. In the board game you'll begin with traps already setup. In this interpretation of the game you'll construct them as you go along playing Pipemania style mini-games to see how many parts should be added to the trap. You'll only go around the board once, too. It's all rather dull and even younger children might only want to play the game once or twice.
The presentation of the collection is good enough. The games have remix and quick game variations that help to mix things up a bit. The graphics are on the simplistic side of things but this isn't the kind of game that demands highly detailed visuals so it's not much of a problem. There isn't really any speech in the game and all tutorial messages are given in text which is just as well because the instructions in the game manual are far from being comprehensive.
I suspect most who are interested in purchasing Hasbro Family Game Night Vol.3 want to receive a faithful rendition of each of the included games. They will be disappointed with the liberties taken with the games in this collection. Some of the games are reasonable but Mouse Trap and Twister are poor and that makes Hasbro Family Game Night Vol. 3 tough to recommend.