At our house, we have a rule: no videogames or computer games or tv when a friend comes over for a playdate. Sometimes we relax the rule for a short dvd, but I've been pretty adamant about the video game rule because I don't like the idea of one kid hogging the game console while the other kid watches forlornly by his side, waiting for his turn. Even if they take turns, they're not really playing together, are they?
I recently received a game to review for Nintendo DS -- Squeeballs Party -- that actually lets kids play against (or with) each other on a single console. It just might tempt me to let the boys take the Nintendo DS out the next time they have a playdate. Here's my review of it:
In Squeeballs Party, players "test" little creatures called squeeballs the same way auto companies test crash-test dummies. You can cook, slice, bat, splat, race, bowl, and generally try to destroy squeeballs in a variety of games. The game is made by PDP; it's available for the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS/DS Lite/DSi, and as an Apple iPhone and iPod Touch application.
Here's a more detailed description of the game from the makers of Squeeballs:
"Squeeballs Party" features 12 small, furry creatures called Squeeballs that are manufactured on a secret island somewhere in the Pacific. Before the Squeeballs can be sold to children across the world, you put them to the test - to the point of destruction. The game's mischievous antics provide a nice mix of fun and guilty pleasure that both kids and adults will enjoy.
The ultimate party game, "Squeeballs Party" gets you up and moving this holiday season as you have to blow up, cook, slice, bat, bowl, shoot and bounce the Squeeballs. The game features a unique collection of 11 party games, each taking place in a different environment from lava-filled canyons, bowling alleys and kitchens to science labs and snow-capped mountains. As the game progresses and more challenges are met - each one more difficult than the last - the game showcases more than 150 unique challenges.
You just cannot help but fall in love with these funny-looking creatures, even as you're trying to destroy them. They just keep coming back for more! The version that PDP sent us had a bonus squeeball stylus included (it has a plastic squeeball on one end of the stylus). It's not too practical --we don't really know where to store it -- but super-cute nonetheless.
In addition, they sent us a couple of stuffed Squeeballs, which are possibly the most adorable swag items I've ever set eyes on:
They're like ball-shaped Ugly Dolls, so hideous that they actually look cute. 3Po immediately went for the green one and Jammy for the black one, leaving poor Pea out in the cold with no squeeball to love. I immediately went searching for a third one to buy, but the best I could come up with was a Gamestop promo that offered a free squeeball plush for every purchase of a Squeeballs Party Wii game. Since that was posted back in October, and since we don't have a Wii, I'm just going to have to keep looking.
The other thing I really like about this game is the fact that the Nintendo DS version has a multi-player mode that lets friends play games together, like on the Wii. So, for example, you can set up a Squeeball bowling game (which puts the Squeeballs on top of bowling pins and you try to knock them down) with 2 players, and each player takes turns bowling a frame, just like in the real game.
This game doesn't fully utilize the touch screen and stylus the way other Nintendo DS do, so it was a bit difficult intially to figure out how to play each game.
And by the way, I'm serious about those stuffed squeeballs -- they are adorable, and it's such a bummer that they're just promo items and not actually sold separately. I'd buy them!
The Bottom Line
Squeeballs Party features adorable characters, classic, easy-to-play games, and best of all, it actually lets kids play on the DS together. I like it!
PDP has dropped the price of Squeeballs Party for the Wii and DS from $29.99 to $19.99, just in time for the holidays!
Watch out for a Squeeballs Party giveaway here on Bonggamom Finds; it's all party of my 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways event, starting December 25.
I received a sample in order to review this product, but no monetary compensation. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.