I am new to the game show genre of video games and I was skeptical about the amusement offered by Electronic Arts’s Hasbro Family Game Night 4: The Game Show. I approached my fifteen year-old son (and usual laboratory subject) with a proposal involving playing the game and offering his thoughts on game play and the “fun factor” involved in playing this compendium of five games.
You can play The Game Show to compete in all five mini-games in reality TV style or play each game individually in challenge mode. After each game, the winner earns a Crazy Cash card with an unknown value of Monopoly Money. There is a control scheme with two button controls for all the games, so they are easy to learn and are appropriate for younger children aged eight and up. For challenge mode, you are competing against XBox clone-like avatar to achieve the highest score and win the game. The goal of Connect 4 Basketball is the first team to shoot four balls in a row of one color wins the game. We found that this game became somewhat repetitive, and a little boring after about 10 minutes of game-play.
Scrabble Flash is a game in which players are timed as they re-arrange word tiles according to standard Scrabble rules. You score more points, of course, by forming longer words, and it was enjoyable to team up and play as a team against team avatar. This ended up being our favorite game, maybe because it challenged us with more of a neuron firing activity than the other games.
The object of Sorry! Sliders is for players to score a bulls-eye or block their opponents with enormous on-screen game pieces that slide along a track, at the end of which are concentric Aristarchan circles. In Yahtzee! Bowling you score points by rolling giant bowling balls and knocking down pins, of course. Bop-It Boptigon requires players to score points by producing jerky movements in their avatar by pressing different buttons at key times, a process that moves along at a crescendo pace. The on-screen prompts (for which button to press) disappear after the first couple of buttons, so ultimately this is a game of memory. This game was high on the fun-meter because it combined button smashing and recalling the correct combination of buttons to press. When you complete each game’s competitive run, the Monopoly Crazy Cash Machine tallies the top scores and doles out money to the grand winner.
We tested only the Kinect connectivity with this game, and the sensors had no issue picking up our physical profiles on the screen. However, we decided not to test the complete Kinect game-play functionality in this review for time considerations. I do think that playing the game would be fun and engaging for the younger set of gamers 8+ but my teenage son wasn’t too excited about it. Not all the games in the collection captivated our absolute attention and enjoyment, with the exception of Scrabble and Bop-It Boptigon. In the end, I was happily reminded that, at the end of the game, it’s not the game itself that matters, it’s who you play with and how much fun you have.