Joystiq hands-on: Mario Party 8 (Wii)

Like the early days of the DS, the Wii still hasn't really found its own identity just yet. Still lacking a Brain Training or a Nintendogs, minigames are de rigeur on the system at the moment. Certainly the Wiimote is well suited for minigames, and it's been hoped that it will breathe some new life into a rather tired Nintendo franchise. Yup, Mario Party 8.

Joystiq got to play an incomplete version of the "ocho" at the Osaka leg of Japan's World Hobby Fair. Six different minigames were on display:
  • Lasso the barrels: Swing the lasso (Wiimote) in a circle, once you've got some momentum going, throw the lasso forward, grabbing a barrels for points (don't throw Wiimote). Some barrels are worth more points than others.
  • Ball tilt: Balls fall from ceiling. Direct bouncing balls to their correct container by rotating the wiimote. Green on the left, and purple on the right.
  • Drink shaking: Simply shake the Wiimote up and down; fastest shaker wins.
  • Target shooting: Just as in Wii Play, shoot targets with your Wiimote. The high score zone constantly changes so you have to think fast.
  • Jet ski jumps: Move your jet skier to the ramps to pick up coins. The challenge comes from the difficult controls.
  • Crank turning: Turn a crank as fast you can. Exactly the same as the similar WarioWare minigame.
Overall, the minigames were solid and fun, if not a tad on the simple side. If the board game side of things (not shown in this early version) is a winner, this could be a fun party game, if not an inventive one. They don't have their Brain Training yet.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.