As my time with Wii Party U continues, I had some time to play more of the GamePad-only games. I still have a bit to go before I get a well-rounded view of the entire game. Until then, I will keep posting periodic impressions. This specific update will solely focus on the mini games that play off-TV.
This is kind of like Connect 4 mixed with Othello. Your goal is to create Mii characters on a grid, using heads, torsos, and legs. The trick is that you don’t know what piece you will get, and you’re going back and forth with an opponent. Every five rounds, you will compete in a mini game to allow the winner to flip one of their opponent’s pieces to your color. This was challenging and fun, as it created some strategy to the large lineup of other games that were faster, action games. The mini games you play in-between, though, were quick and over in no time. This is definitely a game I will go back to again.
If you have ever played those old-school baseball games in the arcade that function similar to a pinball machine, you will have an idea of what this is like. One player flings an analog stick to pitch the ball, while the other player flings another one to hit the ball. You do not have to field the balls, as the hits all depends on where the ball goes. Hit it in a pipe, and you are out. Hit one that sits in the field, and you get a single. This was quite fun, and I was surprised at how much I wanted to keep playing this simple game.
The Tabletop Gauntlet is all about mazes. You can compete in one of two modes — the first allows you to move your group of three marbles through each section of the maze in order to score higher points, while the second mode has you controlling one marble all the way through the maze for the fastest time. You will use both the analog stick to manipulate the platforms, and the R button controls plungers and flippers. I found the one I liked the most is the timed runs, as I kept trying to beat my fastest time. This is definitely one that is fun to play by yourself.
The group of games available to play on the GamePad are actually very good, and they take advantage of the screen and buttons well. All the mini games in this collection are really simple, in terms of controls, so it does not surprise me that they all use only one or two buttons. This could make some players very comfortable, but advanced players could get frustrated by the lack of control options. Still, I believe the simple controls allow for more people to play, but there still some challenge there for veterans to improve their scores and times.
More to come later, in part 3…
If you missed part 1, click here.