EA Playground Review
EA Playground box art
System: Wii, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: EA Canada 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: EA Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 23, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Visually, EA Playground goes for a cartoony, cutesy look that incorporates a bright, colorful, MySims-esque feel. The schoolyard and the characters are all lively with vivid coloration. There's a bit of a western anime feel to the game too, with stout characters performing flips and acrobatic moves in their readying stance. The visual style is such a good fit with the Miis that it is a disappointment that the game doesn't allow you to use your Miis in the game.

EA Playground screenshot

The controls vary from the different minigames. A major odd choice that EA made is to exclude the nunchuk, so your character controls using the D-pad, which feels awkward from the start. Some of the games controls are boringly simple, such as tetherball and wall ball, which simply require you to swing the Wii-mote to hit the ball, although pressing the button varies the strength and pitch of your hit. Paper racers is the most intuitive, letting you control your paper airplane as if you were holding it. Dodgeball again falls short the most, with dodging is done by shaking the Wii-mote while throwing the ball is performed by thrusting the Wii-mote forward. However, again you move by using the D-pad, so your character moves slowly and awkwardly to pick up loose balls, which ultimately ruins the pacing. Dodgeball winds up feeling more like a chore than a pleasurable game.

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One good thing that EA Playground does have going for it is the ability to play all of the games with multiplayer, although that is a given for a game like this. The games do become more fun if you're challenging a friend, although there is no online multiplayer.

EA Playground screenshot

Although EA Playground is obviously meant for children, it falls short severely in depth. The comparisons to Wii Sports are inevitable, and since Wii Sports is free EA Playground is going to be hard pressed to compete with Nintendo's packaged in title. However, if you're able to look beyond the comparison to Wii Sports, EA Playground offers a lot to a younger gamer with some time to kill, especially if they've played Wii Sports to death already.

By D'Marcus Beatty
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director

Features:

  • A Great Multiplayer Game for the Whole Family - It's fun for all ages. Each game has intuitive controls and is easy to learn. Everyone will want their turn at the party action
  • Great Variety of Gameplay - With everything from playground sports, fun-shooters, flight simulators, and car racing.
  • Explore the Playground in Single-Player - As you complete challenges in Single-Player Mode, you'll unlock new locations, earn stickers as valuable powerups, and find hidden minigames throughout the playground. Just be sure to collect all the sticker power-ups - You'll need them!


    RATING OUT OF 5
    RATING DESCRIPTION
    3.7
    Graphics
    Cutesy colorful graphics that work well for the game theme.
    3.5
    Control
    Controls vary from game to game, but the decision to exclude the analog stick is unforgiveable.
    3.7
    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Adequate music and decent sound effects.
    3.5

    Play Value
    The games lack the depth of Wii Sports, but some are fun, especially against friends.

    3.6
    Overall Rating - Good
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images
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