This middle-of-the-road mini-game collection just iterates on the past two games.
Mini-game collections are in abundance on the Wii, and Game Party 3 is one of the few that is now on its third iteration. The series hasn't evolved much over three games, as it still features the same first generation Wii control issues, but the setup is simple enough that anyone can pick up and play it.
There are 19 different games in this value-priced game, including Shuffleboard, Skiball (called Skill Ball), Racquetball, Croquet, and Beer Pong (called Ping Toss). Each game has a simple control scheme that is easily explained by a loading screen. In addition, almost all of them have rule variations, most of which are just different score requirements (i.e. play to 15 points instead of 10).
Using only the Wii Remote, every game, with the exception of Trivia, boils down into a similar gesture that's only variation is whether you're going up, down, side-to-side, or thrusting forward. That makes every event easy to pick up, but also gives them a feeling of redundancy. For example, horseshoes and beanbags are basically the same exact game, just with cosmetic differences.
The game has some control issues in regards to the lack of feedback and precision from the gestures. The recognition of the speed of your Wii Remote movement isn't consistent. The only way to check how you're doing is by slavishly looking at the on-screen meter, which isn't a good barometer. For instance, Croquet is dependent on precision, and thanks to the game's lack of feedback, it seems like you can only tap your ball or crush it.
One of the coolest games is the 3D revamp of Root Beer Tapper. In it, you move your avatar from one bar to the next while holding down the A button to fill mugs and gesturing forward with the Wii Remote. While not quite as brilliant as the arcade classic, it's a really interesting take on it and one of the highlights of a game that seems to be just going through the motions.
The main draw of Game Party 3 is without a doubt the multiplayer, and in that regard, it succeeds. You can organize tournaments for up to 16 people or play each game separately. You can also create your own personalized avatar from an assortment of bodies, clothes, and accessories. As you play, you earn tickets which can then be used to unlock more items. Unfortunately, not every game rewards you with tickets.
Game Party 3 can be fun with friends, but in the end, the lack of variety of the game selection and wonky controls hold it back from competing with the top dogs of mini-game genre.