Video game reviews: ‘Family Game Night,’ ‘Fortune Street’

Sitting around the kitchen table playing a board game can be a great way to spend an evening, and some video games offer a similar experience, but on the couch instead.

“Fortune Street” for the Wii is the first in a long-running series of Japanese games to be released in the U.S. It plays like a faster-paced, somewhat more complicated take on the classic “Monopoly” in many respects. Just keep in mind that it’s best played with a group.

Up to four players select a character and take turns rolling a die to travel around the board, whose spaces represent shops, card suits and other game effects.

When you land on an unowned shop, you can purchase it and start charging other players who land on it. Land on any shop you own and you can invest more money your owned shop of choice, which can greatly increase how much is charged each time another player lands on it.

That’s all pretty similar to “Monopoly,” but that game doesn’t let you force a buyout of an opponent’s property, or to buy stocks in the board’s various districts so you can profit from other players’ investments, or sell those stocks to drive down the value.

A player goes bankrupt if his or her net worth (cash, stocks and property) reaches zero, at which point the player with the highest net worth wins. Returning to the starting Bank space after passing through all four suit spaces nets a promotion and a pay raise; returning with a target net worth wins the game immediately.

“Family Game Night 4: The Game Show” is the latest party game based on various Hasbro properties, this time drawing from the events of the “Family Game Night” game show on cable channel The Hub.

The game’s events are jumbo variations on games from previous “Family Game Night” games. So you’ll knock over six-sided pins as dice in Yahtzee! Bowling, toss balls to make rows in Connect 4 Basketball, arrange five letters into various words in Scrabble Flash, attempt to slide giant playing pieces onto scoring spots in Sorry! Sliders, and test your response time in hitting the various targets of the Bop It! Boptagon. The game’s box says it works best with the Kinect peripheral, and that’s easy to believe; played with a controller, the game is lackluster.

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