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Platform

Wii

 

Genre

Party

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Canada

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

October 22, 2007

 

 

- Big variety of fun playground games for mini-game enjoyment for up to four “playground” pals

 

 

- Single-player mode is as fleeting as youth in its relative shortness

- While many mini-games are entertaining, none as much fun as either Wii Sports golf or especially bowling

 

 

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EA Playground

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

Many gamers can fondly remember their playground days. Those youthful days of schoolyard frivolity has been brought back to the present in the enjoyable EA Playground – targeted at a youthful market, along with their parents in mini-game form, reminiscent of Wii Sports.

 

ea playground          ea playground

 

There are a good handful of games straight from the asphalt of schoolyards and playgrounds, from dodgeball to basketball to wall ball to Napoleon Dynamite’s all-time favorite, tetherball. Then there are a couple of games one might not associate right away as playground games, but that just happen to be some of EA Playground’s best mini-games: slot car racing and paper airplane racers.

 

No matter what mini-game you play, they each come along with a young-at-heart appeal, especially with the game’s particularly cartoon-like and youth-friendly

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character and environment designs that bring out the kid in any gamer that plays EA Playground.

 

Although EA Playground’s single-player game, where gamers can unlock more mini-games and activities along with running around collecting stickers and marbles, is relatively short, it’s the

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four-player multiplayer gaming that really brings out the best in EA Playground. And as a bonus, there’s nary a schoolyard bully hanging around to ruin the exuberance of truly fun family and/or friend gaming.

 

None of EA Playground’s mini-games are quite as fun as the bowling or golf in Wii Sports, but there’s still plenty to like, especially in multiplayer. Dodgeball is really good, and so is the slot car racing. Surprisingly, another top-notch mini-game is the paper racers, at least for the first few times you play.

 

ea playground          ea playground

 

Basketball is a real challenge, having little time to use the Wiimote to make basket after basket by lining up the aim and also the trajectory of the shot. Tetherball and wall ball are OK, while the strange “kicks” – which mixes soccer and volleyball into a weird hybrid game – is maybe the least interesting mini-game in EA Playground. Even the less likable games control generally at an acceptable level with the Wiimote so that even the younger gaming demographic will have little difficulty enjoying a typical EA Playground multiplayer gaming session.

 

Like youth, EA Playground’s single-player mode is fleeting, but still a fun romp through the schoolyard of mini-games. Much more enjoyable with friends or family, EA Playground gives gamers plenty of reasons to revisit the days of fourth-grade recess time once again.

 

- Lee Cieniawa

lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(November 15, 2007)

 

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