Word Party is a difficult game for me to review. Like it says on the packaging, Word Party is a party game revolving around words. As such there is no single player modes or content, it’s strictly for 2-5 players only. It’s a game designed just be there, ready and waiting until once in a blue moon you have company over and that far too cheery person decides “ooh let’s play a game!”. I’m not really the audience for Word Party, but I know plenty of people who could be. Naturally, I invited them round for the evening and Word Party was the first thing on the agenda.
Unfortunately the first thing that will strike you is how cheap it all looks. Presentation is really lacking and it’s something you would expect from a mobile game, not a premium eShop release.
Immediately you are required to choose how many players will be joining the game and choose a Mii avatar. As stated before, up to five players can join in; One on the gamepad and four on Wii Remotes. Sadly the game doesn’t take advantage of the Pro Controller, which is fair enough considering the design of the activities at hand.
Options are pretty limited. After choosing the players you are then invited to PLAY or practice. I emphasise the “play” as that’s how it sticks out in the game. That’s the sum of it really, one game mode and one practice mode.
So the main game mode must be really great, right? Well, it’s okay. However many players have joined, they are now competing against each other in various mini-games revolving around words.
For the most part the mini-games are fast paced and chaotic. The timer is always against the players so your reactions must be quick and responsive. I won’t bore you by describing all of the mini-games but sure to say they are pretty varied.
For example, one mini-game will present you with a four-letter word. FUSE could be one of them. Each player must then take in turns to change one of the letters. The first player could change the S to an L – FULE. Then the next player can change the U to an I – FILE, and so on. The timer is seriously against you though, and you don’t have a lot of time to think about it.
Then there’re word searches, whack-a-vowel (in which you are required to hit all the words popping up that contain a certain vowel), spelling tests and so on. The first few times playing, you will notice a repetition of the same mini-games, but after going through it enough times you will begin to unlock more of them.
After the players make their way through a handful of these mini-games, each player’s points are tallied and the winner is congratulated with confetti of a questionable framerate. And that’s all there really is to it.
I can’t say we had a particularly fun time playing Word Party; it was just okay. I suspect it will be a lot more fun the more players you have. Unfortunately I could only test with 3 people which was fine enough, but the more the merrier in this regard.
One problem that arose was that whoever used the gamepad had a serious advantage over the others. While everyone else is waving their often-disorientating Wii remotes around the screen frantically, the ease and preciseness of the stylus and gamepad made it way too easy comparatively. I’d advise only using the gamepad as a last option.
I think another problem is the previously mentioned timer. Sure, there are times when only having a few seconds to react to something can really add to the pressure and chaos, but I feel in Word Party some of the games are over before they’ve even started. The word search is an example where a harsh timer is far from necessary. Sure have a time limit, but does it really need to be over in a few seconds?
There’s not much else to say really. I’m all for a word game and a party game in my life, and while it can be fun for 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there when you have friends or family of a certain nature over, Word Party is not something that will hold your attention for too long. The lack of options, poor production value and high price make it a difficult game to recommend to anyone who’s not already mad for word games.
- Varied mini-games
- Fun in short bursts
- Poor presentation
- Lack of options
- No lasting appeal
Game provided by publisher