The idea of downloadable games is certainly nothing new. With the ability to deliver content to consumers without them ever having to leave the couch is certainly one of the most exciting advances this generation. EA and Hasbro have teamed up to bring us some of their most classic board games direct to your living room complete with Mr. Potato Head as a guide. Hasbro Family Game Night is a central hub where you can download seven of these titles and play them either locally or on Xbox Live with up to three friends. With everything going digital it was only a matter of time before board games joined in on the fun.
To get started you first have to download the application that runs all of the games. Once this is done you then have access to the entire collection as well as trial versions of each game. Each game runs 800 points (or ten bucks) and can be purchased through either the app or by selecting them in the Marketplace. One of the biggest concerns to this iteration of the game though is that when all is said and done you will have dropped $70 for the entire collection, whereas you can pick up all of the games in disc form for PS2 and Wii for $40. While this is entirely true there are some benefits to choosing the XBLA version.
For starters each game can be purchased separately, so if you only have interest in playing Yahtzee, then you can simply download one title, spend ten bucks and be done with it. The second reason this version stands out is because each game can be played online with up to three friends; the PS2 and Wii versions only support local multi-player. Regardless if you intend to purchase each and every game in this collection it would be wise to consider how much online and Achievements really mean to you before committing to the pricey downloadable version.
One of the coolest parts about Family Game Night is the presentation. All of the games take place in a giant hub area that is designed like a gaming room. You can even customize the room with downloadable skins (all of which at the moment are free). As I mentioned earlier Mr. Potato Head will be your guide, and he animates around the room as you move from game to game. As you progress not only will you be able to unlock a whipping 1400 Achievement Points (200 for each game), you can also earn trophies and even new items to decorate your virtual pimp pad with. All of these are unnecessary, but certainly fun, and surprisingly well done.
The newest addition to the Hasbro Family Game Night family is the classic board game, Sorry!. If you have downloaded and played the other games, then it should come to no surprise to you that Sorry! weighs in at 800 MS Points ($9.99). If you didn’t have any problem shelling out ten bucks for the other games, then you shouldn’t have any problems purchasing this one.
For those of you that are not familiar with the game of Sorry!, let me take a moment and go through the basics. The premise of the game is to get all four of your pawns home. You move your pawns with numbered cards that range from one-to-twelve, with some cards having an alternate method of movement. For example, if you play the four card, you can only move backwards four spaces. If you play an eleven, you can either move eleven spaces or change places with an opposing player’s pawn. The one, two and Sorry! Cards are the only way out of your starting home. There is nothing special about the one card, the two, however, lets you take another turn. The Sorry! Card lets you take a pawn from your starting home and place any opposing pawn back at their starting point. Of course your pawn will then occupy the spot that once belonged to your opponent. The game ends when you get all four of your pawns safely at the ending home. That’s Sorry! in a nutshell.
Like all of the other Hasbro Family Game Night games, Sorry! stays true to the actual board game, with some minor changes. The biggest differentiator is that you don’t draw cards, but are given seven of them to start with. As you use one, the game will draw another one for you to replace the discarded card. You can look at your cards before you move so you can use more strategy, and be smarter about what moves you make.
Also, like the other games in HFGN, there is another mode of play. With Sorry!, there is a selection of new cards that allow you to do anything from steal a card from a players hand, trade in your entire set of cards for a new set, or get one pawn from every player out of their starting home. There is also four player online and local play.
If the other Family Game Night classics appealed to you and you shelled out $10 a piece for them, don’t hesitate to drop the dough again on Sorry!. Hasbro Family Game Night and its downloadable games are for those that don’t have any of the featured games, and while some people are saying that $10 is too much for each game, I disagree. Each of these classic board games goes for at least $10 anyways, maybe more. So, if you are thinking about playing some games with your kids or friends, there is no better choice then Family Game Night; just as long as you don’t physically own the games already.