Hasbro Family Game Night

Hasbro Family Game Night allows you to bring some classic board games to your Xbox, letting you play without the hassle of lost pieces and having to tidy up afterwards.

There are, initially, three titles available (I’m assuming you’re reading this in the UK – Scrabble is only available in the US and Canada as it stands at the moment). These are Battleships, Yahtzee and Connect 4. Each game weighs in at 800 MS points each while the game hub – your “room” as the game likes to describe it – is free.

The room itself is well presented. In it’s default setting (there are various room themes on the Marketplace – boy, girl, jungle and secret agent at present) the games emerge from what I assume to be cupboards in the wall. Choose one of the games and unpacked from the box and assembled on a table – all of this overseen by Mr Potato Head who acts as your host for the games. He doesn’t say anthing, but he does look genuinely sad when you lose a game.

Connect 4 – As you may expect, Connect 4 is by far the simplest of the games. It is recreated well here and is enjoyable to play although even on novice settings the AI players seem quite adept at the game. As well as standard Connect 4, there are a couple of new options involving power chips which provides some variety in the game. Otherwise it really is just Connect 4, simple as that. Top tip though, statistically you’re more likely to win if you start first and play your chip in the middle column. Fact.

Battleships – For me this is the best game of the three released today. I’ve always liked Battleships anyway – I think it’s do with the logic of working out where on the ship you’ve hit. Graphically this one is quite nice, with the action switching between the game grids as each shot it fired. To prevent cheating if you’re playing in local multiplayer, your opponent is asked to look away as you lay your ships (you can even close the lid of your box if you suspect there to be peeking) and then the ships are removed from the screen until they’re hit by your opponent. This, too, has a few different options in terms of gameplay. The best by a long way is the Salvo game where you can fire multiple shots at your opponent depending on how many ships you have left. There are also options to bring in reinforcements and place decoy ships.

Yahtzee – I don’t understand Yahtzee. I’ll go on record and say that right now. This is, for me, the weakest of the bunch. It’s also the slowest. You basically have five dice, which you can throw three times per round, and thirteen game rounds. Each round you can score points in diffent categories depending on how the dice have landed. You can only score in each category once, and at the end of the game whoever has the highest score wins. There is some strategy to Yahtzee – trying to play for the best score requires a bit of strategy and whole lot of luck, but it’s really not very engaging. Even the abilty to shake the dice yourself by wiggling the left stick doesn’t help to break up the monotony of the game.

As the name suggests, Family Game Night can be enjoyed as a local multiplayer experience and I think that’s how it should be enjoyed. Yes, you can play it over Xbox Live, and have a game against the AI, but why would you? The physical table top games that these are based on are not designed to be played by people in different rooms, they’re designed to be played with your friends in the same room, at the same table and this game is exactly the same. It’s just a shame that each title is so pricey.








6 responses to “Hasbro Family Game Night”

  1. Mark avatar

    “Scrabble is only available in the US and Canada as it stands at the moment”

    There will be no change to that, Mattel owns the rights to Scrabble in the UK and Australia.

  2. GamerGeekGirl avatar

    It’s a cool idea…

    So far I’ve heard two main complaints crop up –

    “It’s for antisocial people”

    (Nah, it’s for people who can’t be bothered with mess/hassle of setting up boards; or storing board games)

    “It’s bad value for money”

    £6ish a game. Firstly, that’s cheaper than any of the Hasbro games would be for a boxed version; and secondly; atm it’s basically a retail package divided into 4/5 so £6 per 1/4 or 1/5 is about right.

    (I got Connect 4 last night)

  3. James avatar

    But it IS bad value for money completely.
    I mean Yatzee, just get a bunch of cheap dice (less than 50p maybe) and download the instructions off the web. Easy
    Even then you can probably find one or more at a car-boot sale for cheap. 800 points for Battleship or Connect-4 is rubbish

  4. Tim avatar

    It’s awful value for money, once all the games are out the whole package will be much more expensive than the Wii version that comes on a disk.

    The only games that really interest me are Boggle and Scrabble, sucks to hear that we won’t be getting Scrabble 🙁

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