Hasbro Family Game Night 2 presents a concept that just plain works. Take a bunch of existing board games and convert them directly into digital format, and then sell the package at a reasonable price so that everyone can enjoy them without the mess and hassle of the physical games. While all the games translate to the digital form just fine, don’t expect much beyond that.
Just as its predecessor, all the familiar games include their original modes plus a “remix” mode that changes the rules a bit to make the purchase worthwhile for those looking for a bit of a change in the formula. The included games are: Operation, Jenga, Bop-It, Pictureka!, and Connect 4×4. Having only ever played Operation and Jenga before picking up the Wii remote, I was most interested in seeing how those translated first before moving on to those I hadn’t played before.
Jenga is exactly what I expected it to be, with simple controls. Hold A and move the Wii remote on the block you want to move and then put it on the top of the stack. I was surprised how well it controlled because my Wii setup is probably not ideal. Operation has you pulling items out from a patient’s body and lining them up with the shapes that fly by. While I enjoyed how well these translated to the digital format, it seems as it will get old rather quickly.
Moving on, the other 3 games, Bop-It, Pictureka! and Connect 4×4 also seemed to do just as well. Pictureka has you drawing differently colored cards,and it’s essentially a picture hunt game to find different items in the different pictures, but the definition of the item is up to you. For instance: I had to find a dog, and instead of clicking a canine I clicked a hot dog. There is also a time limit which ups the challenge much.
Bop-It is a rather interesting game simply because of the setup. In the real world, Bob-It is a physical toy that you hold and you must run different parts of the toy to win. In the digital form, the camera is simply pointed at the object and each part of the object has a different control on the remote. It’s like Simon, but controlled differently. A voice instructs what to do, and you simply do that action by either twisting the Wii remote, pulling it towards you or shaking it. It worked as well as it probably could without holding the actual toy in your hand.
Connect 4×4 is pretty much exactly like the original Connect 4 game, except there are now 2 layers to place the small discs in. This can make things a bit complex, but is still the same basic concept of placing 4 of your colored discs next to each other either horizontally, vertically or diagonally.
In addition to these regular modes, there is also the addition of the remix modes. Operation has added a mini game called The Germinator and Jenga has Hammertime which makes you draw a card each round requiring you to pick certain blocks from the tower. These extra modes do add a bit more value to the game once you’re bored of the other games.
Also new in Family Game Night 2 is the game show mode, which pits you against up to 4 friends in a race to the finish line. To advance on the course, you have to complete mini-games based on the 5 games. Fail at a mini-game and your opponent is given the option to play it. If they win the game, they advance up the board. First to the finish wins. While this mode is pretty barren, it is still probably the best way to play the games if you’re having a party.
All in all, Family Game Night 2 is a pretty decent game for the most part. If you like any of the games listed here, they all work just fine in their digital forms. My complaints for Family Game Night 2 rest in personal preference. I am not the biggest fan of board games, especially when playing by yourself. Of course, I’m also not really sure what could be done to improve this, as the experience is very shallow on its own, and it’s as if the game just expects that you’ll have the family over each time you want to play one of these games. Don’t get me wrong, the game is fine, but just don’t expect anything that will change how you feel about these types of games; this is a party game and nothing more.