What is Wii Party U?
Wii Party U is a multiplayer-oriented party game for up to four players. With a GamePad, a few Wii Remotes, and your nearest and dearest in tow, you've got everything you need to get stuck into an accessible, easy to use, and brilliantly entertaining mini-game collection.
How do you play Wii Party U?
Taking a similar route to the other famous Nintendo mini-game collections, like Wii Play and Wii Sports Resort - or, if you'd prefer, a bit like Mario Party, only with more than just board games - the key difference here is that the mini-games are usually presented as part of larger "modes", rather than simply board games. From "Balldozer", which sees you compete with your friends and family in what's essentially a giant two penny fall machine, just with balls rather than coins (win a mini-game, and you can drop four balls in, whoever came second gets three, and so on), to the more traditional, Mario Party style board games that see you rolling a dice to move around a jungle, facing off in mini-games when you land on the wrong (or right?) squares, there's more to this than just the mini-games, and plenty of family fun to be had.
Some modes will let you play through several mini-games, while others are effectively one big mini-game in and of themselves. One of our favourites, Sketchy Situation, asks you to take it in turns to draw the object that's written on the GamePad's screen. Sounds easy enough - but there's a twist. First, you only have a few seconds in which to draw - and second, one of you will have been given something different to sketch. It's up to you to guess who had the different suggestion - with hilarious results.
How easy is Wii Party U to pick up and play?
Each mini-game is well explained, with both text and animated images combining to give you a good idea of what you need to do before you start playing. With simple controls, there's never anything phenomenally complex to do here, either - you'll have to shake a Wii Remote, mash a button, or steer someone around.
For the youngest of players, while the text does mean that some reading is required, younger children could easily understand what to do in the games if they're told, as they mostly have such simple, intuitive controls. Playing as a family with young kids shouldn't be an issue, and with so many great - and at times, outright funny - games on offer (a total of over 80), there's plenty for even younger players to sink their teeth into.
As a family friendly party game, there's nothing for parents to be concerned about here - no gore, violence, swearing, or sex.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo Wii U