Wii Party (Wiiパーティ Wī Pāti) is a party video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii video game console. The game heavily borrows game play elements from the Mario Party series, another Nintendo franchise. It is also the first game in the Wii series that Shigeru Miyamoto did not produce. The game was released in Japan on July 8, 2010, in North America on October 3, 2010, in Australia on October 7, 2010, and in Europe on October 8, 2010. Wii Party was revealed by Satoru Iwata in a Financial Results Briefing on May 7, 2010. It received mixed reviews from critics and sold 9.33 million copies worldwide as of March 2019. A sequel, Wii Party U, was released for the Wii U on October 25, 2013.
Nintendo SPD Group No.4
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Wii Party features nine different game modes divided between three categories: Party Games, House Party Games, and Pair Games. Most of the game modes integrate use of Wii Party's 80 minigames. The game also offers additional modes that make exclusive use of the minigames.
Party Games are games in which up to four players compete against one another.
- Board Game Island
A player rolls dice and proceeds the indicated number of steps (Miis are used as players' game pieces). The order players roll the dice each round is decided by a minigame. Players who come in first, second or third win a bonus dice to roll along with the standard dice. The player who reaches the top of the island first wins.
- Globe Trot
Players turn over numbered cards and move the indicated number of spaces. Players win coins in minigames (1st = 10, 2nd = 5, 3rd = 3, 4th = 1) that can be used to purchase vehicle cards to help them advance, or at airports and seaports to travel long distances. When players reach a hot spot, they can purchase a souvenir photo for 10 coins. After 10 rounds, overtime begins and the first player to reach a hot spot and take a souvenir photo ends the game. The player who has collected the most souvenir photos and coins at that point wins.
- Swap Meet (known as Mii of a Kind in the European version)
Players take turns choosing a Mii from the middle to swap out with a Mii from their area. Players who collect three Miis with outfits of the same color in two different rows win points. Various bonuses are possible depending on how Miis are matched, so the points players will receive also vary. The player who has the most points after a set number of rounds is the winner.
Players take turns spinning a wheel to earn medals. Depending on where the wheel stops, players can win medals, lose medals, or add medals to the bank. Players can also win medals saved up in the bank by winning minigames. If two or three players tied, the winners split the bank. If all the players tie, nothing happens. After ten rounds, overtime begins, and the game ends after somebody wins a Bank Battle, or ten more rounds. The player with the most medals wins.
Players check off Miis on their bingo cards that match Mii balls that drop from a large bingo machine. If a minigame ball drops from the bingo machine, players play a minigame and the winner checks off a Mii of their choice. If there is a tie, a dice rolling contest decides the winner. The first player to complete a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row gets a bingo and is the winner.
Pair Games are designed for two players and are either cooperative or competitive.
- Friend Connection
The players answer five questions before playing a cooperative minigame to test if they are a good pair or a bad pair. The default best pair are Matt and Lucia, with a score of 70, while the default worst pair are Tatsuaki and Abby, with a score of 26.
- Balance Boat
Players work together to balance Miis on the sails of a ship. If the players successfully balance 20 Miis, they win the game. If the ship tips over, the Miis will all fall into the sea and the players will lose.
Players match up Miis wearing shirts of the same color into pairs to score points. Players don’t know what color the Miis’ shirts are until they select them. If players fail to match up a pair, they lose a heart. If players lose all of their hearts, they lose a turn. The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
House Party Games are activities that focus on the players' environments. One of the games, Quick Draw, is exclusive to the Japanese version.
- Animal Tracker
Find the Wii Remote that is making the sound of the onscreen animal.
- Hide and Hunt
Find the Wii Remote. Every ten seconds, the Wii Remote makes a sound.
- Time Bomb
Players gently pass the Wii Remote while holding specified buttons. If the Wii Remote is shaken too much, the bomb will explode.
- Word Bomb
Say a word that matches a category and pass the bomb.
After choosing a player to act as the "Buddy", the other players attempt to predict the Buddy's answers to various questions about themself and get points for predicting correctly.
- Free Play
Play any minigame.
Play a set of minigames.
A one player minigame quest
- Spot the Sneak (known as Rule Reversal in the European version)
Players play minigames, earn points and take points from the "cheater", who can do things the other players cannot, giving them an advantage.
After the development of Mario Party 8, several of Hudson Soft's key designers left to work for Nintendo subsidiary NDcube. Wii Party was first revealed to the public by Satoru Iwata during a presentation to investors at E3 2010 on May 7, 2010. In an Iwata Asks interview, NDcube said that "One of the attractions of Mario Party is that you can play with your favorite character", but they "thought that using Mii characters would strengthen the impression that you yourself are playing together with your friends." Iwata also hoped "people will play Wii Party for years to come as the new standard in party game software."
Wii Party received mixed reviews from critics, with an average Metacritic score of 68/100. GameSpot awarded Wii Party a score of 8 out of 10, praising the wide variety of minigames and modes. GameSpot also added that the game's multiplayer mode "is a blast," and believe that Wii Party is "faster and better" than Mario Party. Nintendo World Report also gave the game an 8/10, citing that "A common complaint about Mario Party is that it has too many things that slow gameplay down to a near halt, such as multiple traps on one game board and waiting for the player to finish his or her turn. Wii Party avoids this by speeding up gameplay". IGN gave the game a 7/10, criticizing the graphics as bright and colorful, but "not exactly pretty", but praising Nintendo for doing a good job of allowing players to follow instructions to get through objectives. GameTrailers gave the game a 7.9, saying "Aside from a few dud modes and some minor control issues, there isn't a whole lot to fault."
Phil Kollar of Game Informer stated in a negative review that "Wii Party's 80-plus minigames share the same uneven quality I've come to expect from Mario Party, which makes sense given that many of them are iterations of games from that series. The metagames are even worse. Whereas Mario Party gave players multiple boards to play through, Wii Party features multiple game types, each less exciting than the last."
In its first week of release in Japan, Wii Party sold 230,000 units and was the country's best-selling game that week. As of October 5, 2010, Wii Party has sold 1,350,791 units in Japan. The game has sold 9.33 million copies worldwide as of March 2019.
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