All big board games have been successful because they all have either been easily accessible or good old social fun, which is why we took playing a family game of Cranium on the Wii with some caution.
This rendition of the board game has several similarities with the original (the ability to play one of four different mini game genres, involving creativity, performing, thinking and words and the fact that you need a minimum of four players, two per team, before you can get anything going), but there are also many un-similarities. It's these un-similarities that make the Wii version of the game less appealing and less fun than the first, which is a real shame. First of all, you don't have somebody from the other team reveal the answer to you so that you can get playing, and instead you must read answers from the screen using some special "goggles" that come accompanied with the game. Although it can be slightly hard to read some of the text with the goggles, this is a well thought out alternative to the obvious problem many thought Ubisoft would be unable to beat.
The other main differences we are thinking about here though include the fact that there isn't as much freedom as the board game. If a question is too hard for the kids (which happens several times on the "data head" mini games), you can't put it back in the pack of cards out of sympathy and try another puzzle. If a player was sooooo close to getting something right but couldn't click on the answer in time, you can't let them off, since the game automatically ends. And the un-forgiving-ness continues, as some mini games which require several puzzles be solved within a minute give you no points if you don't finish them all in time. If you were to complete six out of seven motions with the Wii remote, you wouldn't get a point deducted off the three or four you may have otherwise got, but instead you won't recieve any.
Another bad point about the game is that most of it is completely random. You complete randomly chosen games (whereas in the board game you could at least choose the genre) and then compete to win a seemingly random amount of points. It is the first team to get a fixed amount of 24 points that wins the game, but when teams only get one or two points for some mini games, you can sometimes end up playing for ages, which drags out even longer when you're waiting for your turn, since there are no "everybody plays" style mini games in this edition.
The bad comments don't end there though, when you also consider that the game doesn't even appear to remember which mini games you've already played, as on my third or fourth trek through the game, we were already getting some puzzles right since we'd seen them before.
It isn't all bad however, as many of the mini games have been implemented quite well. The one where you have to shake the remote to the animations are fun, and the games with the drawing and music playback are also very addictive, if once again a little too hard for younger players and a little too hard for some casual gamers to control and get right within the sixty second limit. The fact that the game is also available quite cheap now and contains fifteen different varying puzzle concepts adds to the positive side, and if you can get around the fact that this feels nothing like the board game, there is plenty of fun to be had. One recommendation though: the frustration sometimes caused by this can be very, well, frustrating - so we wouldn't use this game to show off to your friends what your Wii can do, and we'd also only recommend this game for those with a good pop culture knowledge, with at lest one person aged in their teens or above per team.