Wii Play (Wii) Review

By James Temperton 05.12.2006

Nintendo have made the bold choice of launching the Wii with just one major first party title. Wii Play and Wii Sports are the other two, with the latter coming boxed with the console itself. So that leaves Wii Play as the second biggest first party launch title for the Wii and with a very important role to do. Simple in premise, simple in looks and simple in execution, Wii Play has about as much depth as a puddle, but at £34.99 with a free controller chucked in for good measure this game really is a bargain.

In a way, this is Nintendo's answer to the EyeToy. Not to be nasty, but it looks like someone threw up 'cute' all over it and then squashed it into two-dimensions; which strangely is a good thing. Wii Play, much like Wii Sports, is an example of how the Wii is a sociable console, accessible to anyone and instantly enjoyable. The simplicity of this game is most definitely its charm. To get the most enjoyment out of it be sure to create Mii characters for you and anyone who plays on it, not because this adds anything to the gameplay, but it keeps track of high scores and generally makes things quite amusing.

Wii Play is a two-player multiplayer experience, so don't go out and buy it if you have no friends as that would be ruddy pointless (hence the extra controller bundled with the game). Admittedly you can play it on your own to try and beat your record score over and over again, but this is about as boring as watching paint dry blindfolded. You start off having to unlock each of the nine mini-games in the package, playing through them in order.

Shooting Range: A homage to Duck Hunt under the moniker of Shooting Range. This is perhaps one of the finest titles in the Wii Play package. First up it looks really nice with some vibrant and oh so cute visuals that really work excellently. It is made up of a number of levels that get progressively harder, with each one asking you to simply hit as much stuff as possible. Point the Wii remote at the screen at hit A or B to shoot at the targets. You have to hit balloons, flying disks, ducks (for bonus points, these appear at random times during the game, so keep an eye out), round targets and UFOs, all of which fly about the screen and move around just to make things difficult. But what about the rest of the games, well in order here they are...

Screenshot for Wii Play on Wii

Find Mii: A bit of a brain tester this one. Over a number of levels you have to be the first one to find certain Mii characters who are hiding in the crowd. You might have to find two look-a-likes, the fastest Mii, the odd Mii out, all in different settings and scenarios. It really is as simple as that. The challenges get harder and harder and it will take you longer and longer to find the desired Miis and before you know it, the clock will have run out. A really challenging game this one...

Table Tennis: Does exactly what it says on the tin. Pick up the bat by moving 'your hand' towards it and then push the bat into the ball to hit it. A bit confusing at first, but certainly good fun when you get the hang of it, which might take a while.

Pose Me: Quite an obscure one, in which you have 'pose' your Mii character in a number of bubbles. You do this by rotating the Wii remote to the required angle and then hitting A or B depending on which pose you need to move into. The bubbles come thick and fast and you have to get all the ones that correspond to your colour or it is game over. You get extra points for getting to your opponents bubbles first and the action if fast and furious. Also, for some obscure reason the background picture changes about and at one point is a close up photograph of a small bird...strange.

Screenshot for Wii Play on Wii

Laser Hockey: It looks fun, but it isn't really. You move about the Wii remote to control your little laser blocker in this neon pong-a-like. Hit the laser ball into your opponents goal to score points and that's about it. Problem is, it takes the smallest of movements and for some reason if you move your hand too much you get 'stuck' to the side of the arena, sometimes totally unable to escape for some time.

Billiards: Another fine title in the Wii Play package. Slow, considered and very enjoyable, just like the real thing. Sure, it might be impossible to hit a safety shot, but nobody likes a bore so that can only be a good thing. You use the D-Pad to change the angle of the shot, place the cue impact point with the ball by moving around the Wii remote and pressing B when you get it where you want it and then hit the ball by moving back the Wii remote and sliding it forward with the desired force. The slower you move, the weaker the shot. Quite a bit of skill involved and a great example of how the Wii controller can be used in an innovative way to make old videogame formulas great.

Screenshot for Wii Play on Wii

Fishing: Grab the rod, shove it in the pond and catch some fish! There are bonus fishes throughout the game that get you bonus points, so keep an eye out for them, but also some ugly looking fishes that get you minus points. A nice relaxing mini-game that can get remarkably competitive, but for the ultimate fishing experience we'll stick to The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess...

Charge!: Ride on a big woolen cow as you hit scarecrows, jump fences and bosh your opponent off the course in what could easily be a game in its own right with a bit of work. By holding the Wii remote on its side (a lot like in Excitetruck), you have to rotate it to accelerate and tilt it left and right to turn, to jump hurdles you simply flick it upwards. Brilliant fun, brilliantly envisaged and the sort of game that all your mates will want 'just one more go' on.

Tanks!: A bit of violence to conclude the Wii Play package. You take control of a tank in the only mini-game that requires the nun-chuck attachment should you so wish to use it, if not you get lumped with the D-Pad rather than the lovely analogue stick. Basically, you are shoved in a number of very simplistic looking arenas and have to blow the hell out of each other. It all looks a bit like it is made up of Battenberg Cake (trust us, we lie not), but that doesn't stop it being oh so much fun. I gets progressively harder throughout the levels as tougher tanks and tougher arenas really start to test you. Top stuff.

Screenshot for Wii Play on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


So, is Wii Play worth the money? Well, when you factor in that the game only actually costs you £5, yes, yes it is. Simple it may be, but simplicity does not a bad game maketh. Everything about it is great fun and it is a really good way to introduce people to the Wii or for you and some mates to have a quick play around on loads of very competitive and amusing games. An excellent title for parties and one that everyone can enjoy. Were we rating this game just on value, it'd get an 8, but we're not, we're rating it as a full game and due to its length (short) depth (non-existent) and looks (awful), it'll only ever score average. Yes, we are telling you to buy a game that we're scoring 6/10, so go and do it...









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (24 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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