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Video Game of the Week – Game Party 3

As the title suggests, Game Party 3 is the third in this series of party-style video games for the Wii. Developed in conjunction with FarSight Studios, the first two Game Party titles were released by Midway. Game Play 3 is published here in the U.S. by Warner Bros., after their acquisition of the ailing Midway back in July of this year.

Like so many party-style games, the Game Party series borrows heavily from the hugely successful Wii Sports franchise, asking players to mimic real-life game action by using the Wii controller in a variety of throwing and hitting motions that require a little (but not too much!) dexterity and hand-eye co-ordination.

Game Party 3 adds eight additional games to the Game Party franchise, including billiards, bumper pool, miniature golf, smack-a-troll, bocce ball, croquet, racquetball, and a remake of the arcade classic Root Beer Tapper. Games from the two previous releases are also included in Game Party 3, bringing the total to 19 in all.

Most of the games are easy to learn and can be enjoyed by everyone in the family. Illustrations of gameplay and how to use the controls are provided as each game loads. Game Party 3 is at its best in multi-player mode, with most of the games supporting up to 4 players. There is also a tournament mode that can accommodate up to 16 players for parties or large gatherings. Players can create their own profiles and avatars, and earn tickets that can unlock additional options.

If you don't have either or the first two releases, then Game Party 3 is a worthy addition to your family's Wii game collection, particularly at the budget price of $29.99. If you do own the earlier versions, then you may find there is too much duplication. Of the new games, croquet, racquetball and miniature golf work well on the Wii and provide realistic simulations of the real-life games. Some of the others are a little clunkier and might be frustrating for younger players.
Game Play 3 is rated E for Everyone. The ESRB web site warns that the Trivia game contains a handful of questions that reference violent acts, e.g. "Mike Tyson bit off what part of Evander Holyfield's anatomy?"

Publisher: Warner Bros. Games
Platform: Wii
Genre: Party games
RRP: $29.99
ESRB Rating: "E" for Everyone

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