If there’s one console that’s particularly suited to gameshow titles, it’s the Wii. It’s a social console after all, and Family Gameshow doesn’t require you to buy a buzzer peripheral or otherwise – the standard Wii Remote does just fine, thank you very much.
So how does Family Gameshow fare against the likes of, say, Sony’s Buzz! series or even the Scene It? games? Well, it’s not as flashy, but it gets the important things right. Obviously, developer Zushi Games doesn’t have the budget of those behind the major quiz titles, and the production values suffer slightly because of it. Subsequently, the interface and the environments are a little bland – but let’s remember that we’re talking about the Wii here, which is never going to compete with the machines from Sony and Microsoft in terms of visuals.
Unfortunately, the presenters soon grate on the old nerves, with a fairly limited repertoire of audio soundbites. Worst of all, they’re unskippable in most cases, so you’ll be hearing them often whether you like it or not.
However, strip back the visual and audio elements and, at its core, you’ll find a fairly clever and very effective gameshow experience. The questions are wide-ranging and well pitched (if a little UK-centric), and there’s an interesting strategy to each of the three gameshows on offer. For instance, if you don’t like the category you’ve landed, Control Freak offers you the chance to pitch tricky questions at an opponent with an appropriate pay-off or penalty depending on their success.
The next gameshow, Puzzle Addict, consists of competitive Sudoku puzzles, wordfinds, crosswords and more. Finally, there’s Brain Strain, which consists of memory puzzles and other brain teasers.
Family Gameshow is a fun and fairly clever take on the gameshow genre that, given a bit more polish, could really take it to the genre’s mainstays. You’re certain to get a little sick of the hosts, but a good time awaits those who can overlook this.