If you have heard anything at all about Disney Guilty Party, which you likely haven’t, you may have dismissed the possibility that it was something playable when you saw the word “party” in the title. Or maybe you got to the point in the description where it says “50 mini games” and read no further. No one would really blame you either, because these types of games have been a sort of plague of boredom and repetitiveness on the House of Wii since it’s inception. Thankfully, developer Wideload Games has put together a fun “whodunit” mystery board game with a lot of style, humor and charm. Unlike typical Disney games such as Hannah Montana: Spotlight World Tour, it may even force you to put on your thinking cap.
Gameplay in Disney Guilty Party handles like most board game video games. The objective in each level is to collect clues and
witness testimony that will reveal the culprit’s hair length, height, weight, and sex. At the beginning of a turn you are allowed to draw a Savvy Card, which will grant you a special ability to aid your investigation when you play it. You are then issued three tokens which you can spend to move to another room, examine a clue, or interrogate a suspect. If you chose to examine something or interrogate someone you must successfully complete one of the aforementioned mini games. These games are definitely the weakest aspect of the game — some of them are nonsensical and seem to have absolutely nothing to do with the task at hand. For example, one such mini game tasks players with removing the disguise off of the maid character, Fifi Fromage, despite the fact that when you first encounter her no disguise can be seen. Also, it hardly takes a seasoned detective to spot someone wearing a false mustache and a French maid outfit. Some of these games, like the one that asks players to hypnotize a suspect, are just too difficult and detract from the overall fun factor for the game. Thankfully, the mini games are very short, so if you can keep from bashing your Wii remote to pieces for about 45 seconds then you can get back to the fun. Your turn ends when you spend all your tokens (unless you would like to play a Savvy Card) or the timer runs out, whichever comes first. Once you have collected all the clues, you must make an accusation and back it up by showing which clues lead you to discover each of the villain’s four physical traits.
The Story Mode for Disney Guilty Party can be played alone or with up to three of your friends. Players can drop in or out at any point in the game without disrupting the flow of the investigation. Regardless of how many people are playing, the Story Mode will only last players about five hours or so. Where this game will keep you busy the most is Party Mode. Once you play a level in Story Mode, it becomes available in Party Mode. The game will shuffle all of the level’s variables – from caper to culprit to clues, which essentially creates an entirely new mystery for you to solve alone or with some comrades. Party Mode can either be played cooperatively or for a twist you can play competitively. When you are competing with others, the game turns into a race to see who can solve the mystery first, and each player is given an arsenal of traps, tricks, and abilities to advance their cause.
Disney Guilty Party is one of the few games in recent history to feature a completely original and vocalized theme song. Granted, the song is a little hokey, but it’s really catchy, and credit is definitely due for the effort put into it. It sounds a little like the theme from “Get Smart”, but with some over-the-top pop lyrics being sung on top of it. The in-game music and sound effects are ambient and non-intrusive, which is just how they should be. All of the voice acting is top-notch and serves to enhance the overall presentation of the game rather than ruin it, which has been a trend for voice acting in games as of late. There is really nothing bad to say about the graphics of Disney Guilty Party either. Character models and environments are all highly polished and stylized in a way that has just enough of a cartoon twist so that it manages to say “Disney” without saying “this is a game for pre-schoolers”.
Solid and intuitive gameplay, a diverse multiplayer mode, and well-produced graphics and sound make Disney Guilty Party a good game. Unfortunately, the mini games that are forced onto players are not very well executed and could detract from the game’s overall appeal to some people. If you can sit tight through them, you’ll find a great mystery board game that will not only make you chuckle but will leave you scratching your head as your pour over your detective’s notebook for hours to come.
This video shows some gameplay, cut scenes, and more.
|Randomized mysteries in Party Mode are great to play alone or|
with friends, the game's graphics and sound are very appealing, there
are a lot of humorous moments, despite the simple presentation the
mysteries are challenging
|Yet another Wii party game that leans heavily on the mini game crutch|
|Verdict||Work through the mini games -- you'll be glad you did. The|
game that's built around them is definitely one worth playing.