E3 2013 Impressions: Wii Party U

wii-party-u-screenshot-ME3050152345_2Wii consoles are often criticized for their excessive minigame collections, but when they’re done right (e.g. WarioWare) a good one can really show off the capabilities of the console in very imaginative ways. We’ve only had a little bit of time with Wii Party U, but we’re seeing a touch of that creativity.

Wii Party U (coincidentally, my alma mater) allows up to four players to take their Miis and participate in party game shenanigans. You can play a full board game using your TV, or you can play one-off “Tabletop Minigames” using only the GamePad. For example, I played that old bar classic Foosball. Using a combination of the analog stick and touchscreen flicks, you and another player bat the ball around and try to score goals.

Depending on the minigame, Wii Party U gives every console feature a workout. There are games that require you to draw on the touchscreen, for example. But the most fun happens when you get the cameras involved.

In “Name That Face,” one person is told to make an expression, everything from winning an award to getting a painful medical procedure. The GamePad then snaps a photo of this expression, which is then shown to the other players. The other players must then guess what that expression is from a list of choices. It’s pretty amusing, and I can see kids loving it. Adults too, particularly with a few drinks in them.

Wii U Party will be out in October 2013.


Jason MacIsaac is a game and technology journalist. He attended Wii Party U, though he really wanted to go Monsters U. He graduated with a degree, majoring in Touchscreen-based Tabletop Minigames, with a minor in Analog Game Control History. No, seriously, those are real things. You can (and should) visit him at Gamejester.ca.