A very fun digital representation of some of the world's most iconic board games.
It's kind of weird to think that at one point, before video games became a popular form of group entertainment, board games were a staple of family fun. Their creativity was unmatched, and their ease of play made sure they were engraved in toy history. Hasbro and EA have combined the nostalgic value of board games with the technology of modern gaming to create Hasbro Family Game Night 2 for the Wii. Like its predecessor, the game takes five of Hasbro's most popular board games and transforms them into multiplayer activities, creating pleasing results in the process.
Hasbro Family Game Night 2 features the following games: Operation, Jenga, Connect 4x4, Bop It, and Pictureka. All games have two modes, including Classic, which follows the rules of the original game, and Remix, which adds new rules and mini-games to the original games. As a neat tribute to Hasbro’s history, Mr. Potato Head is the host of all the games.
Operation is the game in which players use a pair of tweezers to remove the pieces out of a patient’s, named Sam, body. In the original game, if the tweezers hit the sides of the hole, Sam's nose would light up and make a buzzing noise. The Wii version is presented in a different manner. When a card is drawn, the player must find the piece shown on Sam's body. When found, players grab it then guide it out of Sam's body. Successful operation yields more points. The Remix mode of Operation adds a couple of mini-games, such as the removal of germs, before extracting the piece.
Jenga is a block tower game in which players must carefully remove the pieces and place them on top. If you choose the wrong piece the tower will lose its balance and fall, ending the game. The Wii version is nearly identical to the original game, while the remix adds colored pieces. When a color card is drawn, players must choose that color piece. In some instances, pieces will try to escape the tower, forcing the player to tap them in order to stop them. Some pieces will also turn into bomb pieces, and if players don't remove them, they will explode, destroying the tower.
Connect 4x4 is a variation of the classic game Connect 4, which was featured in the previous Hasbro Family Game Night, and it is the most recently released Hasbro game in the collection. This time around, four players can participate. It plays like the original Connect 4, but if two of the grids were put together. If you can connect four pieces on either side you win the game. In the remixed version, there will be moments where you will be asked to connect four pieces by dropping just one.
Pictureka is a game where players must be quickly find themed pictures in a collage of images. The faster you find the assigned picture or pictures, the more points you are assigned. The additions to the game found in the remix version are that it sometimes asks you to find a picture using a sound as a clue and you will even be asked to spell words.
Last but not least is Bop It. The real version of the game had players interacting with a device that kept shouting commands, such as to twist a knob or hit a button. The video game version simulates the commands with the Wii's motion controls. The remixed version adds even more commands to the game, and it will sometimes replace the action commands with colors and other confusing elements.
Even if some of them saw many changes in order to be adapted as a game, the board games are represented very well. Fans will appreciate that the original rules have been kept intact, and even the additions featured in the remixed versions keep the games fresh. The only game that provided a lot of issues was Bop It, which suffered because of the use of motion controls. Simply put, some of the motions don't work, and in a reflex-based game like Bop It, it can be frustrating. It's a shame, especially since EA did a good job with the other games.
Hasbro Family Game Night 2 keeps up the tradition of social gaming with robust multiplayer modes. All of the games, including the remixed versions, can be played with up to three other players. But if you want something more elaborate you can choose Hasbro Family Game Show, a mode that is reminiscent of Nintendo's Mario Party games. Presented like a game show, the goal is to win the mini-games and claim the board zone as your own. Players will have to spin the wheel in order to play one of the mini-games, all based on the featured board games. When all the zones have been won, the game ends and a champion is declared. This is a very fun mode that mixes the board games up a bit. The only problem is that it might feel too familiar to other mini-game collections, but if you and your friends like the featured games, then this is a mode worth experiencing. The usage of the Miis and the ability to use one Wii Remote also adds merit to this mode.
Along with the board games and multiplayer modes, players can enjoy bonus content. When meeting certain conditions, you can earn multitudes of new pieces for Mr. Potato Head. They can be used to customize him. If you love Mr. Potato Head, then you will be spending a lot of time creating a unique character.
EA might never be able to truly replace the beauty of sitting around and playing a great board game with your friends and family, but they do a good job of refreshing the classics with new game modes and idea in Hasbro Family Game Night 2. The only sour spot in the package is Bop It’s cumbersome motion controls. The rest of the package shines with solid game versions of the board games, elaborate multiplayer modes, and bonus content to unlock. Grab some friends and have some fun with this throwback.