Nintendo’s party games have been some of my most played of each generation. Growing up playing Mario Party on Nintendo 64 with my cousins and brothers or introducing my nephew to the world of video games with Wii Party just a few years later. Fact of the matter is, Nintendo seem to make these variety games better than anyone else.
51 Worldwide Games (or 51 Clubhouse games as its known elsewhere) has an incredibly simple premise. There’s 51 games ranging from classics such as Chess, Backgammon or Blackjack to more modern games such as Billiards, Golf and Toy Baseball. You start out by picking a character that you identify with, answering a few short, silly questions and then you’re onto the world globe.
All 51 games are playable from the get-go, but there’s as series of “guides” that you can choose from on the world globe which will act as a story mode of sorts. Each guide has a selection of five games that they’ll run you through (for instance a ‘sports’ guide or a ‘classic Nintendo’ guide). As you make your way through and master each of the games, more guides will become available.
In terms of style, this is one of Nintendo’s best effort in memory. The art that has been used for each of the game icons, the UI that you use to go through the mini games, the wonderful introductions and the actual mini games themselves all look wonderful, and the style is consistent across the board.
Each game has a nifty little introduction which teaches you how to play each game in a quick and easy manner. For instance, I was quickly learning how to play Mahjong or Yacht Dice, and a handful of others games that I’ve known about for the entirety of my life, but never have taken the time to get to learn.
From there, there’s also a bunch of fun facts about each of the games as well, that you’ll unlock as you go through each of the mini games increasingly hard difficulty levels, before mastering each mini game.
If you’re playing alone, you can expect to move on from most of the games fairly quickly. Whilst some of the classics are timeless games that you’ll spend ages with, others such as Toy Boxing, Air Hockey, Slot Cars or Toy Tennis will be over and done fairly quickly as you’ll be able to master the games in 5-10 minutes max.
There’s a real problem with inconsistently in terms of how much depth there is to the mini games in the package. As mentioned, a lot of the games will be done and dusted fairly quickly with no reason to go back, but games such as Billiards, Bowling or Darts have a surprising amount of depth.
For instance, billiards allows you to choose between 8-ball and 9-ball and Darts lets you choose between 301 and a few other modes. Obviously, a lot of the card games and board games are timeless classic and will be worth playing for as long as you have other people to play with.
The control schemes vary greatly across each of the mini games, especially when you move to multiplayer. Games such as Darts and Bowling are only playable using the touch screen, and grey out as soon as you go into TV mode. There’s some really odd choices once you start adding players in multiplayer though, and things get confusing fast.
For instance, if you’re playing with two players on the same Switch, you’ll lose 11 games from the lineup, and then if you’re adding another player, you’ll literally only have three games that you can play. Obviously, more games become available if everybody has their own Switch and are playing locally (and there’s a free app that you can download to play with friends for free if you don’t own the game), but we see a scenario where 3-4 people are wanting to sit together on a couch and play on one Switch rather than 3-4 Switches being in the one room being far more likely.
I also find the party aspect of the game to be a little bit lacking too. It would have been have been great to have some overarching party modes similar to that of Wii Party, where you can play first to five games or alternate between players choosing mini games.
Online works fairly well. You can either create a lobby to play with friends, or select three games that you’d like to play with randoms, and then play games in single player mode whilst you wait for someone to join. There’s a little bit of lag there for the games that aren’t asynchronous but I can see it being fun in the long-term.
THE NINTENDO SWITCH VERSION OF THIS GAME WAS PLAYED FOR THE PURPOSE OF T HIS REVIEW. A DIGITAL REVIEW CODE WAS PROVIDED BY THE PUBLISHER.
51 Worldwide Games is a solid mini game collection that will definitely be a fun time among family and friends. There’s some inconsistency (as well as some glaring omissions) in the mini games collection as well as some of the confusing control schemes.
Good Variety Of Minigames
Art Style Is Absolutely Gorgeous
The Intros Are Great At Teaching You Games
Control Schemes Are Confusing And Limit Games In Multiplayer