"Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party" is billed as the first video game you can play with your butt.

It might seem like a no-brainer, but this game’s gotta be good.

The E-10-rated game from Ubisoft is the third in the "Raving Rabbids" series on Nintendo’s Wii. This time, the floppy-eared mutants get trapped in Rayman’s TV and create a strange lineup of programs — and minigames.

The campaign mode involves playing through games based on a week’s worth of the rabbids’ oddball programming and commercials. The party mode lets up to four friends compete head-to-head in those same games.

In the great rabbid tradition, the minigames require wild gestures with the Wii’s motion-sensitive controllers. But this year, the pressure-sensitive balance board makes its debut, which is where the whole butt thing comes into play. One game involves sitting on the board while guiding an onscreen wildebeest down a snow-covered slope.

In other games, the board simulates the gas and brake pedals in a crazy barnyard race and acts as a sort of interstellar snowboard careening through space debris.

It’s also used in dance and fitness challenges, which require you to match arm and body positions with the rabbids on screen. These are easily the most amusing events in the game — especially if you’re watching other people make fools of themselves.

Since only one balance board can be synced to a Wii at a time, players sometimes need to take turns in party mode. However, that doesn’t mean anyone gets to rest. The players who aren’t controlling the action can fling distracting objects, select difficult moves to perform and generally play spoiler.

Non-balance-board games include strutting your stuff on a catwalk, wrestling and performing in a band. Plunger-shooting also returns as you blast costumed rabbids who are trying to interrupt the filming of various movies, such as "Night of the Zombids."

"TV Party" is definitely tamer than the first two rabbid games. You don’t hit any critters on the head with hammers. You don’t pluck worms from rotting teeth. You don’t spit in anyone’s drink. You don’t slap any school children. And you’re never propelled through the air by flatulence.

Sure, some of those minigames went over the edge. However, this year’s edition doesn’t even seem to have an edge.

Does that mean the rabbids have gone lame? Actually, I had my doubts.

However, I changed my mind after taking "TV Party" and several other popular Wii titles to a couple of gatherings. I discovered that everyone was eager to test the new rabbid game — and everyone had a blast.

Afterward, I asked my friends which game they liked best — "Mario Kart Wii," "Super Smash Bros. Brawl," "Boom Blox" or "TV Party" — and the rabbids were the clear winners.

It became apparent why the game is called "TV Party" rather than "TV Solitaire." Games that seem pretty lackluster when playing alone take on a lot of life when others are in the room. I recommend you fill the room and have fun.

Platform: WiiOn the Web:

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