I often hear many people on the Internet complain about the overabundance of mini-games, so trying to sell people on the idea of one more may be hard to do, especially one as outrageous as Spin the Bottle: Bumpie’s Party. It barely has any presentation while simultaneously having plenty of personality and is less of a video game in the traditional sense and more of a tool to let loose and have fun with your friends.
What makes Spin the Bottle such a difficult game to recommend is that there are so many variables in how much enjoyment there will be. It’s not like Mario Party in which there are clearly “good” and “bad” mini-games nor is it a normal video game that you can replay any time without question. It depends on the group with whom you play, the person who is selected as your partner, and the mini-game decided for you two.
Perhaps the most important factor of getting enjoyment from Spin the Bottle is the group of people you’re playing with. Every person I played with is fun and very comfortable with each other, so we didn’t mind doing the more … awkward games. However, if some people in your group can’t take a joke or laugh at themselves, they might suck the fun factor away. The person who is selected to be your partner is also a big part of the equation. While I do enjoy spending time with all my friends and whoever played with me, I can tell you that doing some of these games with any particular person may lead to some uncomfortable moments. One game is called Squeeze the Orange, and that requires a Wii Remote to be standing between two people while they hold “A” and “B” together with their hands behind their back. This game often requires you get close to another person, so socially awkward misfits, beware.
As for the mini-games themselves, they’re all fun in execution and extremely unique, but the difficulty factor is unbalanced. Some games I found are very hard to win while others are difficult to fail and the remainder strikes a happy balance. Waltz has two people hugging to hold a Wii Remote behind the other’s back and move slowly, and if they go slow enough, they win. As long as you can stomach your partner long enough to do it, it’s essentially a free win. Conversely, Lumberjack features each partner holding a Wii Remote and they have to move back and forth in sync to saw wood in half. It’s really hard to do unless you essentially embarrass yourselves as one person yells “back” and “forth” to let the partner know when to do what.
There are also some skill-based player vs player games. An example of this is Grab the Rooster, in which the two partners are on one end of a table and the remainder of the group is on the other. The Wii Remotes are laid flat and sounds will come out from the speaker. Whenever a rooster sound is made, one team has to press “A” while the other team has to press “1” on the correct remote. Not only do they have to determine which remote is right, but there are other distraction sounds made as well to slip up the players.
Some games seem to have the sole purpose of poking fun at the players for the amusement of everyone else. One such game is titled Drill, in which two people hold a Wii Remote and spin around it as fast as they can to “drill” a hole in the ground. Silly? Yes, but it did cause an uproar from the audience. Picking Flowers has four Wii Remotes in a rectangle a body’s length apart: two people stand within them and reach around each other to pick up the “flowers” behind them.
In the options menu are settings you can play around with, such as increasing the difficulty to hard to reduce time along with other additional challenges or you can select bonus options, which adds an additional layer of fun. In a game called Circus, two people hold one Wii Remote and jump whenever the drum sounds stop, but with a bonus challenge, players have to do it on one foot. I recommend playing with these bonuses set to “sometimes” to keep players on their toes. Lastly, the game works on a “first to three points” system, but in the options you can change that to four or five depending on how long you what games to go on for.
While I can ramble on about how each mini-game is unbalanced in this way, or too difficult in that way, it would serve to misinterpret the game. Bumpie’s Party is not supposed to be taken seriously but only meant to have fun with. It’s more like a game of Charades or Pictionary rather than an actual video game. Some objects in Pictionary are impossible to draw or some actions in Charades are so bizarre that acting them out is a hefty challenge, and that’s where Spin the Bottle lands. Non-gamers will have a blast while the only people complaining will be the more jaded folks in the room. It would be nice to have more than 17 games so the night could go on longer without seeing the same games over again, but other than that I think it fits perfectly into any “game night” with friends or family. It truly is a unique party game that simultaneously demonstrates how to use the Wii U in interesting ways and shows that the mini-game genre can be fresh once again. It may not be the best video game around, but it’s essentially perfect as a fun tool with friends
It truly is a game whose rating depends entirely on the situation of the player, so with that in mind, the final score is solely based on my experience with it.
Low Score: 4 / 10
- Requires a fun group of people
- Some games are overly simple and easy, while others are difficult
- 17 games (as of now) can cause repetition quickly
High Score: 9 / 10
- A good group of people will cause lots of laughter
- Hoped no one would win so the game could go on longer
- Free DLC coming to extend the games life.