Rec Room Games Review

rec-room_Wii_US_ESRB
It’s time to play another game from the 5 dollar bin. I got this one for under 2 dollars so I’d say that it was a steal. It’s too bad that the game didn’t actually end up being good though. That was a bit of a let down since party games should automatically be a lot of fun. How can you mess up short mini games? All you have to do is come up with an activity that will be fun for 30-60 seconds and you have your mini game.

The game jumps you right to the mini game selection screen. All 20 of them are available from the get go and there are no other modes to look at. Literally, the only other option here is to jump to the credits and mayyybe options, but I don’t think that there are any. Seriously, you’re basically thrown to the games and there is 0 replay value. Your high scores aren’t even recorded, which is pretty odd for a game like this one. This means that unless you really like the mini games enough to play them a few times, you’ll be done with this game in an hour or less. There is nothing to keep you and it’s rare to find a game with 0 replay value, but this title pulled it off.

The graphics are decent I suppose. They didn’t put a whole lot of effort into them as you can imagine, but I wouldn’t say that they look downright bad either. I dunno, I guess it’s just hard to make a game that I think looks really bad. You’d have to put in a lot of effort to give a game that appearance and I don’t think that companies want to do such a thing. Not just yet anyway! The soundtrack is rather forgettable. It’s decent though, but I’d like some more variety. A few more tunes to keep me excited and ready for whatever comes next. Rec Room doesn’t pull that off, but why should it? This game was in the 2 dollar bin for a reason right!

In the end, the only thing to really talk about here is the mini games. I can either stretch this section out a bit or let the review end early. Hmmm, decisions decisions. Not all of the mini games are lousy, I feel like I should say this as a disclaimer. Some of them had some real potential and others actually managed to live up to that so kudos to the game. If you really think about it, this game could have gotten a quick 7 had it been on the PS3. Then again, I recently played a game with bears on the PS3 that was pretty bad so….maybe not. (That game’s still probably getting a 5-6 though)

The best mini game here by far is the Box Maze. You have to use the Wii Remote to tilt the surface of the stage as you gradually guide your ball to the correct hole. It takes skill and passion. A whole game on that could be interesting so long as it isn’t too repetitive and a plot surrounding the game is around to keep you interested. It was one of the first games that I played so I actually got a little hyped to see how the game would end up. Smack A Squirrel was also decent except for the concept, but they’re toy squirrels so that helps a bit. After all, I’ve skipped out on two Wii Games because they promoted animal violence. *shudders* The problem with this game is that your hammer is unresponsive and often times it will stop you from actually hitting the squirrel and you just tap it, which has no effect.

Then we got to some of the dicier games like Bowling. Wii Sports did a much better job with it than this game, but I’m sure that nobody is surprised at that. Good luck hitting anything with your swings! Alley Ball is another decent game. You have to flick the Wii Remote up to try and land the ball inside of the rings. The controls were surprisingly smooth for this game and it’s certainly a keeper. Disct Toss and Ring Toss sort of make each other a little redundant and likewise with Rubberband Sharpshooter. As you can imagine, throwing anything with the Wii Remote controls is a formula for failure. Table Tennis was probably the most disappointing game in the collection simply because it should have been good. Tennis should always be fun and it’s so easy to implement, but the game forgot how to make your characters miss. As long as you flail around with the Wii Remote, you can keep on returning just about every ball which leads to some very long points since the computer doesn’t want to give up either. The controls don’t hurt this one much, but are still a factor.

Darts is fairly decent, but the controls make it hard to ever hit your target. Chinese Checkers and Peg are quite similar and both of them are no fun at all. Maybe these games are better in real life, but I don’t see the appeal of moving across an empty field or just making lines until everything is gone. These titles couldn’t hold my attention. HillbillyGolf was pretty terrible and even worse than the real Golf. At least..in this version. You throw a little baton thing and the game is really broken. Foosball is surprisingly not that good as you simply can’t control your players quickly enough to do any real damage. Back to flinging the Wii Remote around until you win!

All right, back to the fun games…or as fun as you can get here. Trashcan Basketball is fairly interesting even if you’ll never be able to hit it. You have to throw paper in a trash, but the controls are incredibly unresponsive. Good luck trying to do anything here. Tic Tac Toe Toss has some potential, although the rules are a little odd. You throw things to connect the lines and the game operates on pure chance. Air Hockey is decent. As expected, the controls hold it back a little, but it still manages to be decently fun.

Table Hockey is a lot of fun and actually has a semblance of skill and effort as you try to score. Controlling your players is as difficult as in Foosball, but it’s more fun and actually feels real. Dodgeball is another one of the best games and I may have to actually dethrown Box Maze. Yes, I changed my mind during the review, but I forgot about Dodgeball. This is why it’s good to have the game’s cover in front of me! I made a monster comeback in my first attempt at the game so you can bet that I will not be forgetting it! I didn’t talk about all of the games, but I mentioned most of them. There are 20 in total, so feel free to play them all! (It’s all you can do here anyway)

Overall, Rec Room Games is not my idea of a fun time and odds are that it’s not yours either. Most of the games are simply not balanced correctly so some are too long while others make you wonder how they’re supposed to be fun. There are some enjoyable games here, but considering how long it takes you to beat them, you can still get bored in 30 minutes quite easily. With no high scores to think of, replaying the minigames by yourself or with friends is the only thing to do. This lack of replay value is what ultimately made me decide to give the game a 4 instead of a 5. It was close and the games are good enough to get a 5, but the title just feels lazy and that’s inexcusable for any video game title! I do not recommend this game, even for 2 dollars you could….well, maybe you can still get this game. It’ll still get you your money’s worth, but maybe you should just get a Pepperoni Pizza at one of the dollar shops where it’ll cost you 1:50. Then you can save the other 50 cents for your insurance. No worries folks, I’ll be reviewing more bargain bin games soon!

Overall 4/10