The Bottom Line
- There are a lot of fun games to play.
- Games are easy to learn.
- There are enough party themes from which to choose for both boys and girls.
- The parent host will have to take some time to set up the Wii remotes before party can begin.
- While waiting their turn, kids will need to be entertained.
- At times my kid testers found the voices of the game characters a bit annoying.
- Kids can't use their Miis. They need to select from, and customize, characters on screen.
- A Wii game that is designed for up to 12 players and 4 Wii remotes.
- Over 20 different mini games.
- Ten different party themes.
- Includes coupon for Duncan Hines and 12 free party invitations.
Guide Review - Birthday Party Bash
I'm a big fan of the Wii system, so when I was given the opportunity to check out a Wii game that is touted as a birthday-party-in-a-box, I didn't hesitate to give it a test. I enlisted my kids and some of their friends to try it out, as well as trying my own hand at some of the games. I have mixed feelings about how well Birthday Party Bash will work as a stand alone party, but as a collection of games, it was a lot of fun.
Initially I gave the game to the kids, ages 10 - 13, to figure out on their own - I wanted to see how much parental involvement would be necessary. There are three different play modes - Custom Party, Quick Party, and Free Play. In the Custom mode there are more choices for customizing the players on screen, and the system directs the order of play among the players to ensure an equal number of turns. In Quick Party each player chooses their character from a limited number of choices, and the players direct their own order for taking turns. In both Custom and Quick Party modes, each game played contributes to "building" the birthday party room with the selected theme, all of which leads to the birthday song at the end. Free play is just what it says - kids can play games in any random order as they choose without the birthday party element.
The games are like Carnival type games, with carnival-sounding music in the background. Some are very easy, like pinata bashing (make sure the Wii straps are tight), and others are more challenging, requiring a steady hand and aim like Laser Gremlin. The kids didn't tire of the games, although the voices sometimes became annoying.
It really is too bad the party boy or girl can't use their own Mii, since they have so much fun creating and changing them, although I see why you would want to avoid that time consuming set-up during a party. The party host is instructed to ask guests to bring a Wii remote from home so that there can be four remotes available during the party. However, that will necessitate syncing the new remotes with your system before the party can begin.
Finally, the effectiveness of this game as a party will have a lot to do with the age of the partygoers and their ability to wait for their turn. The instructions direct parents to prepare a craft table to amuse guests while they wait their turn, but most parents know that will only be effective at keeping some kids busy. Otherwise, you'll need to set up a different kind of energy outlet for the kids waiting their turns. I would schedule this party for no more than two hours, otherwise I would add other activities to keep the kids busy.