When I heard that Landers had purchased a game that was Home Depot themed I didn't believe him. Then I actually saw the game, and immediately thought that it would be horrible. Landers on the other hand had faith that it would be enjoyable. Somehow he was actually right and in a crazy turn of events Our House Party was a pretty fun game. Also, in case you were wondering it totally does play the song Our House by Crosby,Stills, and Nash during the intro...
The goal of the game is to make your house as dope as possible. Obviously you do that by playing mini-games. In the beginning you need to choose one of twelve home improvement projects to work on. Once that's decided the game throws you right into a Home Depot! In the store you can purchase tools in exchange for screws, which are the games currency. Each tool is a power-up for specific mini-games. I didn't find any of them helpful, so I tended to run my cart around the store and use it to block all the other players from buying things. It worked sometimes.
|There's a game where all you do is smash things!|
After the shopping portion the game moves you into a series of mini-games. Each home improvement project is made up of 2 to 5 themed mini-games. At the end of each project your rank determines how well it comes out. So if you come in first place when improving your lawn it looks amazing and is worth a butt-load of money, but if you come in fourth it looks like someone took a flamethrower to it. At the end of the game whichever player's house is worth the most money wins, or at least that's what I assume happens. When we were three projects away from finishing the game hard locked the Wii. It locked up so badly that we had to unplug the console, because it wouldn't turn off... It took us a long time to get to that point, so we decided not to go through it all again.
We didn't want to go through it again, but that doesn't mean that Our House Party isn't a fun game. The mini-games are actually pretty varied and control well. They were eventually repeating, but they were far enough apart that it didn't matter. I got to mow lawns, dig holes, and even tile floors! I still don't know how I should feel about enjoying a mini-game that had me tiling floors. Hell, even digging holes was fun. We had to dig our own hole, while shoveling the dirt into a different hole. What was cool was that every mini-game was conducive to sabotaging your opponents. This meant that we rarely focused on completing the tasks the game handed us, but instead messed with each other the entire time.
|The mini-games are all about screwing with your opponents.|
What I really don't understand is why Home Depot decided they needed their own video game. Nothing about this game made me think about Home Depot, except for the part where you needed to shop for tools inside of one. Some of the loading screens were flyers too, but that's really it. Kids are certainly the target audience for this and they don't tend to want to shop for tools. Kids also don't care about improving their homes for the most part. I know I've said it multiple times now, but the most puzzling part of the whole thing is that the game is actually well put together. Sure, the load times are a bit long, but it plays well and actually has a wide variety of activities. I wouldn't mind playing it again, once I get over the hard locking incident.