Mini-game collections are a dime a dozen, right? You've played one, you've played them all. Well, that wasn't the case for Game Party Champions, a mini-game collection that launched on Wii U. That game a story about a child dealing with the loss of their father, and the father’s ghost ends up helping that child win a tournament of mini-games.
Why was this included in a mini-game collection, of all things? Steve Bowler, Lead Designer on the game, offered up an explanation of how it all came to be.
Game Party Champions was published by WB Games, and according to Bowler, they specifically requested for the game to have a story mode. Bowler decided to craft a weird and dark story for the game, but that true nature of the story wouldn't end up getting revealed until the end of the game. Turns out WB Games took no issue with the script, and gave it the greenlight.
The story of Game Party Champions follows a silent main character and his friend Jace. The main character is depressed due to the passing of his father, and Jace convinces the main character to participate in a mini-game tournament to cheer up. As the story progresses, you see that no one ever talks to Jace, and Jace only interacts with the main character. That's because Jace is actually the ghost of the main character's father, which isn't revealed until the end of the game.
Taking things a step further, the main character of the game is named Riley, who is named after Steve Bowler’s daughter. Steve was hoping to teach his daughter some life lessons, even long after he passed away. He now has a Wii U mini-game collection to do so.