Long before the folks at Hasbro Games started promoting Family Game Night, my family and I were already enjoying it.
Family Game Night became my youngest daughter’s pet project when she was in elementary school, and she developed a real love for all board games. She never tired of playing Guess Who?, Connect 4, Life and Monopoly. (In the case of the latter game, my husband and I started referring to it as monotony because the games took so long to finish.) In addition to board games, we started playing video games as part of Family Game Night. Our favorite for the longest time was Shrek’s Super Party for the XBox.
I loved Family Game Night because it was a way for us to spend time together doing something that didn’t cost any extra money. For example, when we got a Wii, we could have bowling competitions without leaving the comfort of our own home or spending a dime.
As my daughters got older and started making plans with their friends on weekend nights, Family Game Night kind of fell to the wayside. The only time we would revive it was when we took summer vacations in rural Maine where, frankly, there’s nothing to do at night. So we’d get out our favorite games, such as Apples to Apples, Scattergories and Catch Phrase!, and have fun playing until everyone was too tired to think.
I started thinking about Family Game Night again a few weeks ago when the PR people for Wii got in touch with me. They were promoting the new “Wii Party” game and suggested that I have a “Wii Party” Party. They said they would send me the game, with a controller and gift cards for pizza, to try it out.
While I never had an actual party–and my plan is to donate the pizza gift cards to the Adopt-a-Family program next month for Christmas–my daughter Jane and I did spend one evening having fun with the “Wii Party.” Our favorite game ended up being Board Game Island in the “Party Games” section. I especially liked the Latin-infused music that played throughout the game, which made us want to get up and dance.
In fact, Board Game Island was the only game that we tried that got us up off the couch. That was disappointing. What I love about our Wii Fit and its games, including Wii Sports, is they are active. The games in “Wii Party” are fun–and really skewed much younger than my 15-year-old daughter–but they’re not as active as I’ve come to believe all Wii games should be. Isn’t that what makes Wii stand out from other video games?
The good that came out of our playing “Wii Party” is that we’re both excited to start up Family Game Night again with the rest of our family joining in. I’m thinking that buying the girls Just Dance for Christmas would be a great way to bring something new to our Family Game Night and ensure that we are active throughout. Now to figure out a free weekend night to have it.
Disclosure: GolinHarris, the PR firm for Wii, sent me the game for free. Also, the links above to some of the games mentioned include my Amazon Associates code so that if you decide to buy any for yourself, I can earn a little bit of money. Hey, ever little bit helps.