E3 2010: Pac-Man Party Hands-On (Nintendo Wii)

Sat, Jun 19, 2010

Casual, Console

At E3 2010, I had a chance to go hands-on with Pac-Man Party, a new Namco title for the Nintendo Wii. As the name would suggest, the title is a party game, which will have you and your friends staring as members from Pac-Man lore. Of course there’s Pac-Man, as well as Pinky, Blinky, Inky, and Clyde, among others.

Pac-Man Party can be most easily described as a digital board game, but containing various mini-games and a complete substitution of the dice rolling system for its main gameplay components, rather than the aforementioned dice and basic flipping of a card, as one particular example.

As you go around the board, you’ll build castles that match your character’s color, much like you buy properties in a game like Monopoly. For the “dice rolling” segments; that is, segments that determine how many spaces you’ll travel around the board, you’ll throw darts at balloons or a at a dart board (both of which are labeled with numbers), press the button on a virtual slot machine, take part in a small game of Plinko, or otherwise.

If two players land on the same square, this triggers a mini-game challenge – these mini-game challenges utilize the game’s motion controls by having you spin the remote to throw pizza dough, move a paint roller around a canvas (whichever player covers the largest portion of the canvas with paint wins), and so on. Other mini-games are button press games, like one that places all players on a garbage conveyer belt – various household items come from the right side of the screen, towards a trash compactor on the left. You’ll have to stop yourself from going into the trash compactor by pressing a button to jump over the debris, which comes in piles of various shapes and sizes.

Pac-Man Party was announced on Day 2 of E3, and will be hitting store shelves sometime later this year. It’s the first new Pac-Man game in five years, and we’ll be sure to bring you more news about it as it becomes available.

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