The story behind Squeeballs Party
is little more than an excuse to run these quiet little plush toy animals through the wringer (or shoot them from a cannon, or launch them with a slingshot, or blow them up). The idea is that there is an island out there somewhere where these little guys run free and in an attempt to market them, you are testing their endurance before putting them on the shelf. What's odd is that most of these tests are very destructive, so I don't know how so many toys can make it to the shelf. Anyway, the game is broken down into 11 game settings, each with their own ladder of challenges.
There are some pretty basic mini-games here that you could find in other Wii titles (though the Squeeball twist makes it humorous). Games like 10 Pin Bowling, Cannon and Cooking are just new variations on Wii Bowling, Wii Tennis and Cooking Mama, but they are still enjoyable.
10 Pin Bowling starts off with some easy challenges like taking down a certain number of pins with a certain number of balls, but as you progress up the ladder, challenges include pulling off strikes and tough splits. The Cannon games launch squeeballs at you and all you have to do is whack the flying toy with your racket. At first, it's just a matter of scoring points, but you then have to develop some accuracy as you try to hit the living plush toys into land mines.
The Cooking ladder has you dicing, grinding and firing various squeeballs in order to feed the only apparent carnivore in the bunch - El Toro. If you've played, or even seen Cooking Mama, then you know exactly what to expect from this game type.
Once you've completed a round of new challenges, you are then presented with a new game ladder, and then that ladder's challenges are entered into the mix and need to be completed before the next game is unlocked. The other games include Shock, where you have to guide a loop down a electrical wire in the hopes of electrocuting a squeeball or two, while Stampede gives you a cannon full of Craboom squeeballs as you try and stop a heard of characters from overrunning your screen with love. A similar game is called Feeding Frenzy where you must shoot particular squeeballs at colored El Toros in order to satisfy their hunger before they get to you.
The Crazy Lanes mini-game is a variation of bowling, except that you actually have some control over the ball as it goes rolling down the curvy and cracked lane in order to knock down the pins/squeeballs.
In the Pumping mini-games, Ardi is hooked up to a bicycle pump and you are challenged to make him pop in an alotted time or inflate him to some size without popping him.
Probably my favorite game type is Paint By Squeeball where you load a squeeball into a slingshot and fire it off into a picture. The line drawings are of one or more squeeballs and the idea is to use the plush-toy's coloring as paint in order to fill in as much of the picture as possible in the alotted time. For the most part, you will be using the squeeball from the picture to paint that picture (since they are naturally the same color), but some critters have a few colors in them, like the slug one named Boris. In those cases, a squeeball for the other color will be thrown into the mix every now and then. At first, this somewhat demented mini-game simply asks you to cover a certain percentage of the picture that you can in a time limit, but it isn't long before it starts floating water balloons in front of you (which wash paint away) and starts having you paint a few different squeeball portraits with wildly different color schemes.
There are two other mini-games in Squeeball Party, Golf and squeeball Testing Belt. I wasn't able to get past the second challenge in Golf since I haven't quite figured out how to skip the Octo across the water (which is the challenge) and because I haven't made it very far in that particular challenge, I still haven't unlocked the Testing Belt, but from what I gather, you follow on-screen instructions to inflict the hardest tests on these toys.
I would definitely say that, between the number of game styles, and the number of challenges in each game, this is one of the biggest mini-game collections I've seen for the Wii yet. There is a multiplayer aspect to it, but besides a few head-to-head challenges where two players can play at the same time, most of the multiplayer aspect of this game involves a controller-hand-off styled implementation.