Video Game Thoughts: Wii Party U

Wii Party U was a 2013 party game for the Wii U by Nintendo. In order to spur sales of the Wii U, Nintendo offered a free game with the purchase of a new copy of Mario Kart 8. The possible free games were Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze, Wii Party U, and Pikmin 3. I personally preferred Pikmin 3 out of three games, but I wanted to share the Wii U with others. I thought by getting a multiplayer game, I could get more people to play. The downside to getting this game digitally was that it didn’t come with the free Wii Remote. Most of the games required at least one Wii Remote, so we couldn’t even play most of the games initially. It wasn’t until Christmas that I got a Wii Remote. Even still, my plans didn’t work out.

I was able to get my mom to play a little bit, but ultimately, I wasn’t interested in playing video games with others. I liked spending time with others precisely because it was a break from video games. A multiplayer game like Wii Party U made me play even more video games. I really liked video games, but I also knew it wasn’t good to spend all my time on them. Because of that, Wii Party U never got much playtime.

Wii Party U had a collection of mini-games structured into three categories: TV Party, House Party, and GamePad Party. GamePad Party had two player games using the GamePad like a tabletop. One player used one half of the controller while the other used the other half. There were both cooperative and competitive games. Initially, these were the only games I could play because I didn’t have any Wii Remotes.

The GamePad games didn’t give me the greatest impression. Most of the games were too simple, easy, or random to keep my attention for long. I found the GamePad and its screen to just be too small. Kids probably would do fine here, but two adults could have a hard time seeing everything on this tiny screen.

TV Party had several board games. Four players took turns issuing commands to their Mii. At the end one player’s Mii would be crowned the winner. I found the board games fun because they had some length to them. They were usually thirty to sixty minutes to finish a game. There was enough time for comebacks and lead changes.

House Party had games that used a combination of the GamePad and the TV screen. Players either took turns using the GamePad, or one GamePad player competed against the other three players. The asynchronous gameplay was pretty fun just because it was different than the multiplayer in other games. Usually, only one player had the GamePad. They had to do very different things than the other players. The problem with House Party was that most games required four players. I could only get two players at most, so I never got to play a lot of the games here. House Party Games tended to be pretty short, no more than maybe fifteen minutes.

I imagine House Party would be the best for casual players. The games were short enough that everyone would get a chance to play. TV Party was best for a dedicated group of four friends that is willing to play for a long time in one session. GamePad Party only supported two players. I never got to the point of trying Wii Party U in a party. I had decided before that point that I was going to focus on hanging out with people outside of video games, not just playing video games with others.

Overall, Wii Party U didn’t get much playtime. It wasn’t very good as a single player game, and I was more interested in spending time with others away from video games. I did get it for free though. If I had paid for it, I probably would have tried to organize more times to play with others. It was probably a great game at parties, but I don’t get into parties much. They are fine for a few hours, but everyone else always seems to want to hang out all day. That’s not for me. I want to be making progress towards goals, not just sitting around talking for hours.

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