Hasbro Family Game Night
This board game compilation brings five classic Hasbro board games to the Wii and PlayStation 2 -- Connect Four, Boggle, Yahtzee, Sorry! and Battleship. Then, for good measure, it throws in the new-for-2008 Sorry! Sliders to round out the package. But is paying 30 bucks for digital versions of a half dozen analog games worth it? It may be, if you've got a family to enjoy them with.
Each of these six designs can only stay appealing for so long as a single-player experience, so you can go ahead and discount Game Night now if you'll only ever have the opportunity to game alone. Mr. Potato Head (who hosts the overall package) is fine company for a while, but the appeal of each one of these games is built on interactions with other humans competing against you -- not computer A.I., and not the second-string Toy Story star (likable though he may be).
If you do have friends or family who'll be willing to pick up the extra controllers and compete against you, though, you could have a lot of fun here. So let's do the rundown of each individual game.
Connect Four is the classic checkers-stacking game, where you attempt to complete a row of four same-colored chips horizontally, vertically or at a diagonal before your opponent can do the same. It's faithfully re-created here, and as the simplest of the six designs has no issues with control or presentation. Optional extra modes let you play with special powered-up chips, though there's no beating the simple appeal of the traditional design. An overall thumbs-up for Connect Four.
Boggle is the fast-paced word search game made internationally famous by King of the Hill's Peggy. It's a bit more complicated to re-create as a video game, because the normal analog version has you armed with a pen and piece of paper instead of a PlayStation pad or Wii Remote. The transition is tough, too, because with your actions clearly displayed on the screen in front of everyone, there's no hiding what words you've found -- traditional Boggle is impossible as a result, and instead the game becomes a race to see who can find each word the fastest. The letter selection is capable enough in the PS2 version, but pointing and clicking with the Wii Remote can be a little iffy. Thumbs-down on Boggle.
Yahtzee has no such control trouble, as its dice rolls are randomly generated whether or not you "shake up" the cup -- the point of the game is to score as high as possible in each of 13 different categories, given three rolls of five dice in each round. If you roll the dice and end up with three fives and two sixes, for example, that's a good score for your Full House category (where you need three of a kind paired with two of a different kind) and so on and so forth. Yahtzee's alternate rules options can make things much more interesting too, with variants that let you try for the lowest score instead of the highest, block out categories from your opponents, et cetera. A thumbs-up for Yahtzee.
6 years ago