Originally, I was very excited by the prospect of EA and Hasbro’s Family Game Night for the Xbox Live Arcade. I could picture myself relaxing to the likes of Battleships, Boggle and Connect 4, accompanied by soothing music and a nice warm drink. The pricing seemed acceptable at 800 Microsoft Points until EA gave gamers a kick in the teeth, when they announced that the price tag would apply to each title within the collection. One of the seven titles released as part of the Family Game Night collection is Sorry – a video game adaption of the classic board game.
The concept behind Sorry, on the surface, is fairly simple and one the majority of gamers will be able to get to grips with. It consists of each player moving four pawns from the “start” location to “home.” Pawns move the amount of spaces as portrayed on the card chosen by the player. In addition, a “Sorry” card can also be played, allowing the player to swap the position of their pawn with an opponent’s.
EA have gone one step further with Sorry with the insertion of two other game modes: Bonus Cards and Custom. As the name of each suggests, Bonus Cards sees the inclusion of additional cards in the game, including the likes of “Sideswipe” which allows your pawn to move to the next corner of the board, sending any pawns in the way back to the “Start” location. Bonus Cards is a game mode worthy of its place in Sorry, brilliantly expanding on the original concept with some great new perceptions. Regrettably, the same can’t be said for the Custom game mode which is very limited as the only adjustments players can make are between the game mode and AI settings.
Credit has to go to EA for vividly adapting the board game into a video game, rather than totally reinventing the way we play. Having the casual target audience in mind, the Sorry game board is presented on an in-game table, situated in a living room environment – just the way a regular family would normally sit down and play it. Thanks to this adaptation, the same family experience can now be enjoyed with the family gathering around the television with controller in hand, rather than the table.
Multiplayer expands on the single player with four player support in all three game modes locally and the traditional game mode online. Alas, it’s getting the numbers to play a multiplayer game of Sorry that lets the title down. I highly doubt the traditional gamer would sit down to play Sorry when the likes of Halo, Guitar Hero and FIFA are just a disc insertion away. This has clearly happened to the online side of things with not one lobby or player available.
Unfortunately, like the board game, Sorry is more frustrating than fun. This is mostly due to the amount of luck needed and partly because the balance of the game can change in a second with the use of a “Sorry” card. There’s no bigger annoyance than having to rely on one particular number to appear in your hand to ensure your pawn gets to the “Home” location or someone swapping the position of your pawn with theirs after you’ve got it right round the board.
Adding to the frustration is Mr. Potato Head, a character we are all familiar to seeing in the film, Toy Story. His appearance will almost certainly appeal to children and adults alike, though he can prove to be an annoyance. For the vast majority of the game, Mr. Potato Head is dashing around the board to keep up with the play with the repetitive sound effect of him sliding to a halt imminent. However, this isn’t the only annoying sound effect within the game as one of the major flaws with Sorry, is the looping soundtrack which could drive anyone crazy.
Fortunately, more characters have been integrated into the game. They come in the form of avatars that appear when the play switches. Avatars isn’t something witnessed in many Xbox Live Arcade titles as of yet, but even vague appearances, such as those featured in Sorry, prove to be a nice touch and give your avatar that bit of exposure they need.
Graphically, Sorry rates just above average as it’s fairly good looking, though fails to bring out the best of your swanky high definition television. There are some weak background details, but on the whole, it is perfectly acceptable for an Xbox Live Arcade title.
To conclude, Sorry is your typical Xbox Live Arcade title. It’s fun for a game or two, then you are unlikely to play it again, especially at the 800 Microsoft Point price tag. This isn’t helped by the lack of online players and sheer frustration the game causes. Though to give credit where it’s due, EA have done well to break into the more casual gaming market.