Tech News on G4

'Neighborhood Games' brings back memories

Feb 4, 2009

By John Powell - G4 Canada

back to -|- Tech News index -|- John Powell column archive


Neighborhood GamesWhat's up with kids these days? Call my generation stupid if you will but we never wore bicycle helmets when we went out riding or protective gloves when we lit caps off or fretted about the potential for mutilation when we played outdoor games like lawn darts. Ah, those were the days.

THQ's 'Neighborhood Games' for the Nintendo Wii is a celebration of the games that helped us pass the time on those lazy afternoons. There's horseshoes, basketball, touch football, remote control truck racing, water balloon wars, bocce ball, shuffleboard tennis, golf and many more including my favourite...lawn darts.

Oh, yeah. Lawn darts. Now we are talking.

Since these are "neighborhood games", the games have been simplified. Football involves only four players total. The mini-games Horse, Around-The-World and 21 represent basketball. You bounce a ball off a garage door in Tennis. You don't play 18 holes but instead fire balls at retrievers in Golf. All in all, there are 24 games but that number is a little deceiving as some of the 24 are just different versions of the same game like Shuffleboard Bumpers and Remote Control Planes, Trucks and Bocce Bash.

Neighborhood GamesWhether you are playing career or multiplayer mode, you can customize your little ankle-biter into a geek, a rocker, a jock, a Goth, almost any personality you can think of. As you take on rival opponents, you unlock more goodies and games, as not all 24 are available to you right off the bat. Having to beat games to open more really limits your options at the start and quite frankly is a bit discouraging when the box art is screaming "24 Family Games" in red at the top of its lungs.

Be aware, if you haven't figured it out already, that most of the games are of the aiming, trajectory variety and involve the same mechanics. Besides the distance you have to throw, there is no real difference between lawn darts and horseshoes, for instance. Developers Jet Black Games would have been better off giving players a bit more variety to choose from. That alone would've really enhanced the package. In the crowded marketplace of party or family games for the Nintendo Wii, 'Neighborhood Games' needed that to make it stand apart from the pack.

Like a quick game of pick-up basketball with your friends, Neighborhood's fun is great while it lasts.

Anyone for lawn darts? Anyone?

Neighborhood GamesNeighborhood Games
Format: Nintendo Wii
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Jet Black Games
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Official Site:

Rating: 6 / 10



  Related Articles
· Get G4
· G4 Press Release Index
· Interact
· Advertising Information

About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see