The Wii U is a great system for party games. It has titles like Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8 which can double as both great single-player experiences as well as great party-shakers, and you have more direct mutliplayer games like Nintendo Land and Wii Party U. While Nintendo has provided a solid selection of great party games, that doesn’t mean that indie titles can’t catch a little of the spotlight. Lightwood Games did not want to pass up on that opportunity, and provided Word Party.
Word Party is a fairly simple multiplayer game, but it does pack a considerable amount of content. The game features 28 mini-games that all have a Scrabble-like gameplay style to them. From bees flying across the screen, to classics like Whack-a-Mole, each of these 28 mini-games will challenge your English skills, with your sole objective being the completion of these puzzles to acquire points.
Word Party makes use of the GamePad’s extra screen, allowing for up to five people to play at a time via the use of Wii Remotes. This can certainly make things get pretty wild as each activity is timed. So just imagine you and four of your friends all screaming and jeering as you fight to complete the most words before the timer runs out. The concept is very simple, but I have to admit, the execution is actually nice. This is actually a really good game for a party setting, and since everything is animated, it’s considerably more interesting than most ‘real-life’ word puzzles. This is what gives Word Party an edge; it takes an already popular activity from the real world, transforms it into a video game and actually makes the experience even better.
The game is also generally visually pleasing, presenting vibrant foregrounds and scenery in each mini-game. Menus do look a little bit cheap and simplistic, but this can be overlooked as the mini-games are all nicely animated. The music isn’t going to wow anyone, but it has a game-show style to it which positively adds to the atmosphere of the game. While the music isn’t going to win the game any awards, it does add a little to the player’s experience, so that’s admittedly a good thing.
I don’t have any real complaints to make towards Word Party. It’s not trying to be as complex as titles like Nintendo Land or Wii Party U — this is a mini-game collection that’s centered around word puzzles. Added to that, it’s a simple indie game. Therefore, for what it’s trying to be, it succeeds. It’s definitely worth giving it a try beforehand as it does have a pretty steep price-tag of $19.99. Should you invest that much in a game like this? Honestly, that’s something to leave up to your discretion, but if you are keen on taking it for a test drive, the developers have provided a free demo. If you feel the full experience is worth the price, then by all means go ahead. As I said, for a party game, this is surprisingly fun.At $20, Word Party has a steep price-tag, but that’s up to you.