Nintendo’s Wii console has a new game where players can experience activities aboard a cruise ship, including playing blackjack, roulette and other casino games. Unfortunately, the response to the game has been very underwhelming, even by Wii standards.
The Cruise Party Wii game is a game aimed for young players to recreate the fun of playing at a casino on a cruise ship. That, in itself, is a little odd. Is Nintendo trying to get kids interested in casino games? The game is fully interactive and multiplayer, which allows players to play their favorite games with their friends either in person or online.
The graphics are good for a Wii game, which means that they’re slightly better than the games for the Sega Genesis. However, most reviews of the game have said that while it looks okay, it’s not very fun. Whether or not a game is fun should be the major determining factor in the quality of a game, but you couldn’t tell that from the selection of Wii games I’ve seen. It seems that Nintendo usually places the fun factor of a game near the bottom of the list, right after “Will it be novel enough to interest people for the first 20 minutes they see the game?”
So what’s wrong with the Cruise Party Wii game? Well, the casino games are poorly designed. For example, in the video poker game, each player’s complete hand is visible to everyone. Without being able to hide your cards, there is no skill involved and it becomes a game of luck, where all that matters is what cards you happened to draw.
There is a blackjack game, where up to four players sit at the table and play against the dealer. Of course, blackjack isn’t a competitive game, because the players don’t play each other. That makes it rather dull as a Wii game, since you can’t earn any real money in Cruise Party.
Another problem with the Cruise Party game is that it doesn’t take advantage of the Wii’s features. The Wii has always been a console where you play stupid, simplistic games that seem unique because you’re actually moving your arm around instead of just pushing buttons. The idea behind the Wii was combining video games with pantomime and the Wii really is about that exciting. Even that excitement, though, isn’t present with the Cruise Party game. Casino games don’t require the physical activities like swinging a tennis racket or golf club. They pretty much involve holding cards, placing bets, and rolling dice.
So I guess what we learned from this – other than that it’s possible to make a Wii game so bad that it will stand out as a stupid game even among other Wii titles – is that if you want to play casino games at home, you should do it at an online casino. If you want to play for free, there are free trials available. If you want to use real money and hopefully win some cash, you can do that as well. Of course, children can’t visit online casinos, but I’m not so sure they should be playing gambling games on the Wii, either.