Pac-Man Party is a party style Wii game that is part board game and part fast-paced minigames. But that’s not all – the game is even part arcade classic with the inclusion of the original arcade Pac-Man and more.
The main fun in Pac-Man party is through the game’s very deep variety of challenging mini-games. In all, there are more than 50 ways for players to compete against each other in quick, easy-to-control battles for a chance to see who can win.
Pac-Man Party can be played similar to a board game, with players traveling around a virtual game board collecting Power Cookies (like Pac-Man chomped in the classic arcade game), or families can choose to access and play all the mini-games directly. We found that not only were there a deep amount and variety of mini-games, but that most were simple-to-control, involving either mastering one specific motion with the Wii-mote, or sometimes running around with the d-pad while performing an action with the 1 or 2 button. Before each mini-game, an on-screen diagram shows how the controls work.
If your family chooses to play board game style, they’ll be able to choose from five different game boards, each with a different theme, such as snowy, spooky or celebration. The object of each board game is to collect castles in order to accumulate a certain amount of Power Cookies. It honestly is a bit confusing, but the game will pretty much tell you what to do and when to do it. We like how before each turn, each player simultaneously selects the number of spaces they’ll move by competing in a quick challenge, such as throwing a dart, or dropping a ball into a numbered space. Every character then moves at the same time, so you don’t have to follow everyone around.
Even though most folks are only really familiar with Pac-Man and the four ghosts (Inky, Pinky, Blinky and Clyde), there are a few other characters added to the mix.
The mini-games are definitely the best part of Pac-Man Party. Ranging from quick bursts of gameplay to extended cooperative boss battles (such as attacking a giant robot teddy bear), there is more than enough here that nearly any family should be able to find multiple modes that they really like.
In addition to the Pac-Man Party fun, the game also comes with versions of classic arcade games Pac-Man, Galaga and Dig-Dug on it. For parents who remember playing those games when they were younger (or perhaps recently at their local pizza place), this is definitely a nice addition.
Despite the fact that we weren’t really familiar with any Pac-Man characters outside of Pac-Man and the four ghosts, we really enjoyed playing Pac-Man Party with a wide variety of ages of kids. The board game mode offers some strategy, but we found it to get a bit tedious and dragged out, but luckily there’s more than enough fun to be found in the more than 50 mini-games available in Pac-Man Party. We recommend this as a great competitive title that will mostly appeal to the kids age group, but is also accessible and fun for tweens and older toddlers. The game’s inclusion of classic arcade versions of Pac-Man, Dig-Dug and Galaga is icing on the cake.
*FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com Favorite* - This was one of our favorite family-friendly video games we saw at the E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles in June. Here's what we had to say about it then:
Pac-Man Party is a party game set in the Pac-Man universe, where you go around a game board as Pac-Man or one of the game’s ghosts (Inky, Pinky, Blinky or Clyde).
Unlike other party games, this one seems to try and minimize the wait time between turns by allowing every player to participate in a mini-game to determine how many spaces they’ll move. Depending on the type of space each character lands on, players will either gain power pellets or trigger some sort of mini-game event.
We saw a few mini-games at the E3 video game trade show event in Los Angeles in June, and from what we saw and played, we think this game is shaping up nicely as a surprise family hit. We battled in mini-games against other players by working to paint a canvas, jump over a bunch of trash on a conveyor belt, or twirled the Wii-mote to make pizza dough and throw it in the oven.
With the increase in Pac-Man mania surrounding the game’s 30th anniversary year, Namco Bandai looks to be delivering a nice addition to the party genre of games when Pac-Man Party comes out this holiday season.
INFORMATION FROM COMPANY FACT SHEET
It’s Pac-Man’s Birthday Party and you’re invited! Namco celebrates the 30th anniversary of the legendary, cultural icon with PAC-MAN PARTY for Wii. Set in the theme of a birthday party, PAC-MAN stars in this game packed with dozens of mini-games, challenges and surprises. With something for everyone in the family, this Party is packed with non-stop action for one and all – from nostalgic gamers, to kids who are new to PAC-MAN FEVER.
Brand new party game that’s fun and engaging for the entire family – Jump into mini-games and challenges designed for up to 4 players, geared for all ages. Players use their skills and reflexes to compete against one another as they move about several unique virtual game boards. Includes both cooperative and competitive challenges.
• Features more than 45 exciting mini-games – Play fun filled time-based trials based on themes such as racing, eating, or even rolling a giant snowball…Knock your friends off a mountain top or test your skills in
adventures requiring precision and endurance such as curling, tennis, and golfing challenges.
• Three modes of play:
Story Mode – Explore all the game board worlds and meet new characters.
Mini-Game Mode – A quick fix for those wanting the sudden rush of competition.
Party Mode – A more in-depth party experience that has up to four friends traveling across different themed boards in a race to collect the most points.
• Strategic gameplay – Strategically build and develop property on any given space to increase wealth.
Utilize Power Cookies to help level the playing field and encourage big comebacks, these can be unleashed to increase a characters size or put extra force and speed behind each movement.
• Added bonus – Includes the original arcade versions of PAC-MAN®, Galaga® and Dig-Dug®.