Originally posted January 10th 2016 on the Seafoam Gaming forums
Thanks to Lightwood Games for the review code
Title: Word Party
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release date: 11/12/2015
The main game/story
In this multiplayer party game, you and a group of friends must solve numerous word related challenges, competing against each other to see who wins! Obviously a game like this will not have a story, but the main idea of it all is that it’s meant to be a fun way to spend some time with a group of friends, whether you have only one or four to join you.
The visuals are very basic in this game, with not much going for it. Everything does look nice and colorful, the menus are rather easy to navigate, and none of the minigames look horrible on the eyes or anything, but it doesn’t have much of a wow factor either. Still, for a game where the minigames don’t take much time and where you are more focused on completing the minigames as quick as possible, it manages to get the job done fairly well.
Music and Sound:
Unfortunately, the sound department is where this game takes a hit. The few themes in the game are very short and completely forgettable to the point that I actually had to go back to the game and listen to the music again just before writing this review so I would know what exactly I was listening to. Still, considering how this is a party game meant for fierce family competitions, it’s not something that anyone will really notice in the inevitable fierce debates that this game will start in your family.
Being a party game with a wide variety of minigames, I’m not exactly able to judge the gameplay as a whole like I would with most other titles. However, the general rule of thumb is that each player uses a Wii Remote (or the Wii U gamepad) to solve random word challenges that pop up on the TV screen. Sometimes these include minigames where you complete the blanks by clicking on the right letter, click the letter that shouldn’t be there in the first place to make an actual paragraph with separate words, solve crossword puzzles in a short amount of time, among many, many others.
There’s over 20 minigames in this compilation, and only a few of them are unlocked from the start, requiring multiple group sessions to complete the set. While this will lead to inevitable repeats of minigames you already played, this gradual unlock system works surprisingly well, encouraging you to start more and more games with your friends to see what future challenge you may encounter next! My friend would usually come over and play the game with me, and after unlocking a new minigame we would go for another round to see if we would bump into what we just unlocked! It’s a surprisingly odd concept that works well for a game like this, and if you don’t want to rely on luck to choose the new minigames that you recently unlocked, the practice mode lets you try them out at any time. (However it should be noted that you can’t unlock the other minigames in this mode.)
In conclusion, Word Party has seemingly everything good going for it when it comes to the way that it’s presented. Outside of some basic visuals and some incredibly forgettable music, it’s a blast to play with a group of friends, and I’ll be honest when I say that I really enjoyed my time playing this game with a friend of mine. While there isn’t much to do if you are looking for a single player experience, Word Party still is a great game that you should at least check out for the sole purpose of having a great time with some friends. That leads us to the biggest problem with this game, however, and that is the price. At $19.99, this game is unfortunately way too expensive to recommend for the average Wii U owner, since I doubt the majority of them will have friends over on a daily or weekly basis. It’s a shame, too since I really did love playing this game with my friend, and I can easily recommend it to anyone if the price point was a bit lower.
That being said, if you happen to have friends over on a regular basis, feel free to pick this title up without hesitation, as it really will be a lot of fun even if it’s more expensive than you may expect. However for anyone else who only has video game party nights on an infrequent basis, or for those who aren’t sure if this game is worth picking up for the high price, wait for the inevitable sale and buy it as soon as it happens. You won’t regret it if you have a group of friends around! For those who still don’t think that a sale would be enough to make them interested in the game, you can check out the free demo version on the Wii U eShop to see if this is your type of game.
I give Word Party a 7 out of 10, and strongly recommend it for all fans of multiplayer party games, but only with a price drop or sale. For folks who usually play by themselves, however this game is likely not for you, so unfortunately you’d have to look for other alternatives if you are interested in playing with computer opponents.