Rain or shine, the fun doesn’t have to stop! EA Playground aims to capture the exuberance and nostalgia of your neighborhood playground, turning your gaming space into an arena of interactive fun with immersive activities designed for kids of all ages.
Indeed, it’s a big mini-games collection. With it kids can bring the excitement of their playground favorites home, and parents or even grandparents can re-experience their childhood thrills. But what about those of us in between those ages, I don’t have such a fond memory, I sprained my ankle running after a ball once, that really hurt! Well… I suppose this is safer, let’s give it a try.
System: Wii, DS
Genre: Party, Sports
Release dates: October 22nd 2007 (USA), November 9th 2007 (EURO)
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Every game is easy to pick-up-and-play and uses the Wii Remote motion controls in a true-to-life manner. Swing the Wii remote to excel in tetherball or battle your friends and family in dodgeball. Every game brings its own twist to the controls in this party game.
Explore the world and meet some wacky in-game characters who will challenge you to playground activities. Take them on and beat them at their own game. You don’t always have to be playing with your friends and family in order to have fun. Explore the world on your own as you enter different locations, unlocking new activities, making wacky in-game friends and collecting rewards and stickers to upgrade your abilities along the way. These activity games are played throughout the single player campaign to earn power-ups and collectables. The following featured games can be played in both the single player and multiplayer mode.
Featured playground games on the Wii:
* Dodgeball – Take on your opponents in an attempt to knock them out of the game in this fast paced multi round experience. Up to four players can dodge, catch and throw lighting fast balls just like in real life.
* Paper Racers – Throw and navigate your paper airplane through challenging Playground courses, collecting power ups and other bonuses along the way in a race to the finish line.
* Kicks – Take on your opponents in this fresh new experience where Soccer meets volleyball and goals are the result of spectacular aerial kicks!
* Dart Shootout – Test your accuracy skills in this exciting game that has your shooting and ducking your way through the playground to the final boss battle.
* Wall Ball – Enjoy this fast paced game of wall ball where the speed of the ball increases with each powerful shot. Strategically choose where you want to hit the ball and watch it rapidly ricochet by your opponent!
* Slot Car Racing – Take on up to three opponents in this speedy slot car racing experience that has you flying through ramps, landing mega jumps and even getting a chance to zap your opponents off course!
* Tetherball – Go head to head against your opponents in this tension mounting experience. Try to wrap the tetherball around the pole before your opponent does.
Activity games for the Wii:
* Freethrows – While exploring the playground world, take some time out to shoot around and earn marbles.
* Bug Hunt – During your world exploration if you see a bug, take out your net and give chase. Successful swat and catch the bug and earn some rewards.
* Dribbling – Pick up a basketball and bounce it in rhythm for a defined number of times before the clock runs out on you! If you’re successful you’ll earn yourself some more marbles.
Watch the EA Playground launch trailer.
So what are EA Playground’s main features?
* All Your Favorites and Then Some — From the classics to the unexpected to the really unexpected, these are all the games that you would want in your fantasy playground. Each is intuitively designed to deliver on accessibility and fun! On the Wii, there will be games that take full advantage of the wii remote including dodgeball, tetherball, dart shootout and slot cars. On the Nintendo DS, there will be games that utilize the touch screen controls and the mic such as spitball, dodgeball and skateboarding.
* Party Play — This is fun for all ages! Compete against each other for bragging rights in a variety of playground games. This is no holds barred – you set all the rules, creating the ultimate playground showdown.
* Single Player — Explore the world and meet some wacky in-game characters who will challenge you to playground activities. Take them on and prove you have what it takes to rule the playground.
* Stickers and marbles — The playground is covered with challenges! Collect stickers every time you win a game against an in-game characters. Also, roam the world and earn marbles by playing a variety of other mini-game activities. Trade these in for valuable power-ups that will come in handy at your next playground challenge.
* Explore the world — You start off in the schoolyard but the fun doesn’t end there. As you successfully compete in challenges you’ll discover that there’s more to the playground, opening you up to three unlockable locations. Each with their own unique take on your playground favorites making for extended hours of fun.
Watch some more EA Playground gameplay footage.
In conclusion let’s see how much fun EA Playground is on a scale from 1 to 10?
FUN FACTOR – 7.0
A nice diverse variety of games combines both generic (Paper Racers) and very fun (Kicks) games. Too bad there weren’t more great games included. But the result is still a fun, but not addictive, party game that should last kids and their families a while.
Graphics – 7.0
The visuals are stylish and cutesy in line with the playground theme. Character design is simple but full of charm like the MySims boys and girls.
Audio – 7.0
Fun voice bits, simple sound effect, and a sometimes catchy soundtrack.
Ingenuity – 7.5
The playground does a great job at depicting a menu from which to serve all the mini-games. The mini-games themselves are designed to use the motion controls in various different ways. With that I don’t just mean that the controls fit the games well, but there are playful tricks added to the game like giving someone a high five by swinging the Wii Remote as you walk past them on the playground. It works well.
Replay Value – 7.0
The game will give hours of entertainment for all ages, the single player mode is very short, but the multiplayer games can keep you entertained quite a few times. The collectable stickers and marbles add to the fun. It makes it a good party play experience if you’ve had enough of last year’s Nintendo titles. As such, if you look at longevity, EA Playground sits somewhere between the superb Wii Sports and subpar Wii Play.