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30 Genres of Christmas
Party Games
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 16, 2009   |   Episode 21 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're counting down the days until Christmas by looking at 30 different video game genres. From the most popular games to the tiniest niche titles, everything fits into a genre and we're going to be there to shed absolutely no new information about that genre in this month-long feature. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 30 Genres of Christmas!



No amount of partying will ever make this picture make sense!
How Do You Know You Are Playing a Party Game? With a name like that, you would think that locating a Party Game would be extremely easy. Well, you would be right. Because a Party Game is a specific genre that is usually only fun when you're playing with other people. If you're by yourself and having a miserable time, then you're probably playing a Party Game ... either that or you're trying to enjoy Tony Hawk Ride. Party Games often take the shape of a mini-game compilation, a board game or a combination of the two. Think of this genre as the video game extension of a classic board game.

Patron Saint: Pretty much everything that Parker Bros. and Milton Bradley ever put out (and then some).

Typical Story: You play a piece on a large board. You take turns rolling the dice, moving that many spaces and playing a short mini-game that may or may not net you some coins. As you play through the board you will have a chance to screw over your friends by using special items, stealing their coins and other nefarious things. The winner is the person that collects enough coins, leaving everybody else in a bad mood.


Did you know that these days Monopoly doesn't even have paper money? It's all done through credit cards. Lazy bastards!
What That Drunk Guy At the Party Says: "No, no, NO! You do not get a point for that. I'm saying it right now, you, you, you don't get a point. And don't tell me I'm drunk ... I'm not sober, you're drunk. I'll show you how sober I am. Hey Carl, I slept with your wife! That's right, we've been doin' it for ages. Would I tell you that if I was drunk? I also stole your credit card a few months ago. I bet you didn't even notice. See, this is stuff I wouldn't say if I was drunk. You're the one I drunk. I mean, drink. I mean. Whatever."


Nerd foreplay!
Not a Party Game: It's tempting to put games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band in this genre, but they don't belong here. Those games (along with countless other similar titles) belong in the Music genre. You see, while those games are great at parties, they are also fun when playing by yourself. I routinely sit here playing Rock Band 2, but I'll never try and play a solo round of Mario Party again.

Then vs. Now? I've definitely gone back and forth when it comes to figuring out which era of Party Games is best. Thanks to non-stop Mario Party sequels and countless Wii mini-game compilations, you would think that I would side with the old school Party Games. However, outside of falling in love with Anticipation on the NES, I can't think of many classic 8-bit Party Games that are worth playing today. What's more, I kind of like the idea of foreign and domestic board games hitting the Xbox Live Arcade and PSN. I'm a huge supporter of games like Catan and Carcassonne, two must-own XBLA titles. So, while I do love Anticipation, I'm going to side with today's batch of Party Games.
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