I've been mulling over Spin the Bottle Bumpie's Party for about a month now, and in those 30 days I've come to realize what the problem is with reviewing games like this. Bumpie's Party is a party game, and as such it's not meant to be reviewed on a normal scale. Putting it up to gamrReview's three-tier standard, it fails in two of the three key categories, yet here I am admitting fully that I think you should probably buy Spin the Bottle Bumpie's Party anyway!
Like Wii Sports, Spin the Bottle Bumpie's Party is basically immune to criticism. It may not be deep or nuanced or have the most longevity, but what simple tasks it sets out to do, it accomplishes with enough gusto that it's hard not to like. Bumpie's Party is a spin the bottle game for 2-8 players where no kissing is involved, so it's family friendly. There's a lot of touching, but it's not the kind you'd need to shelter from kids or Catholics. Unlike most games, the TV is not needed at all, only the WiiU Gamepad and a series of Wiimotes. In fact, the game recommends you turn the TV off completely, which is probably a better idea because in spite of the main theme being catchy, it'll get on your nerves pretty quickly.
The cycle of events is pretty simple: player one spins the bottle on the touch pad, deciding who he or she has to participate in a challenge with. Once the two players are chosen, the game selects one of the 17 available mini-games and sends you on your way, giving you detailed instructions during the loading screen every time, so you'll always understand what is going on. As the game progresses, the 'balance' of the pie alters so that the less-chosen people become more likely to be chosen.
Of the seventeen games, most of them are actually great fun, even though they only last about thirty seconds a piece and most are as involved as pressing both A and B on the Wiimote at the same time... using your noses. Take, for example, the drill, where you each grab a wiimote and spin around as fast as you can; the faster you go, the faster your bar fills up. If you fill the bar up in its entirety before time runs out, you and your partner get a point. There's another game where you each act like miners, pumping either side of a cart handle opposite one another; there's a game where one player puts a blind fold on or closes their eyes, and the other instructs them on how to find an upright Wiimote without knocking it over. Some of the uses of the Wiimotes and the touch pad are ingenious, such as the game where one character sees the screen while the other pilots a rocket but can't see where he's driving said rocket, so the first player must guide him to tilt back and forth to gain or decrease altitude.
We played a full eight person game using the full range of wiimotes, and the game only lasted about twenty minutes, maybe thirty minutes had we increased the 'win' threshold to best-to-five instead of the best-to-three format we decided used, so it's very much a quick pick-up and play title. Unfortunately, once you've played each minigame half a dozen times you'll have mastered it even on the hardest difficulty, and so Spin the Bottle Bumpie's Party completely lacks true replay value.
Visually, the graphics are fairly rudimentary. The eight characters look like simple turds, dogs, and plants, but their charm cannot be denied. It really is a case of enjoying the bare minimum. The same goes for the cute noises and cheering that makes up the game's audio. There's so little that makes up the game's presentation that it's hard to even score it in this category.
But you know what? Despite Spin the Bottle Bumpie's Party not having any lasting appeal to any single individual, there wasn't a single minute in all the hours I was playing it that I wasn't smiling or laughing, and the same could be said for all the people I played with. This is not the kind of game that will continue to be fun if you keep playing it with the same group of half a dozen friends every weekend, but it's the ideal game to break out every time a new friend comes over that you want to make look silly. Spin the Bottle Bumpie's Party is better than the sum of its parts; it may not be pretty, or deep, but it's most definitely fun, and isn't that what games are about?
This review is based on a digital copy of Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party for the WiiU, provided by the publisher.