Wii Play Review

Nintendo's Wii Play is a combo pack of nine mini-games and an extra Wii remote. The games are immediately fun, brilliantly designed, and extremely addictive. Here's a quick roundup.

Wii Play

1. Shooting Range: Heavily influenced by Duck Hunt from the original NES. Items appear on the screen — balloons, clay pigeons, soda cans — and the two players compete to hit the most items. The highlight is when aliens come to abduct your Miis and you have to take down the UFOs.

2. Pose Mii: You rotate the controller to fit your Miis into various positions. The wonderfully bizarre thing about this one are the images that appear as backgrounds. A close-up photo of two birds, for example. Why not?

3. Table Tennis: Awesome! There's not much to say about this. It's ping-pong, and it's great. Each Wii remote makes a sound on impact, which is a subtle but effective addition to the experience.

4. Laser Hockey: Air hockey with a glowing effects. Anybody could spend ridiculous amounts of time playing this, and the graphics are great.

5. Fishing: This one takes a bit more patience than the others. You wait for a fish to bite and pull it out, much like in Zelda. Not as frantic, but maybe a good break.

6. Billiards: Most excellent execution of a simple nine ball game. You hold down the B button, pull back on the remote, and then punch it forward, just as you would do in real life. For some, this might be enough in itself.

7. Find Mii: A "Where's Waldo" thing which incorporates custom Miis. Has something of a Brain Age feel to it, with the obvious exception that it doesn't involve any sort of a math.

8. Charge: The oddball of the bunch. You steer a cow through a racetrack, running over scarecrows and jumping fences. You tilt the remote at various angles to steer and accelerate, and move the remote straight up to jump.

9. Tanks: We played this for hours. A brilliantly simple but incredibly addictive game where you drive toy tanks around and try to take out opponents with cartoony ricocheting bullets. It's an interesting mix of cooperation and competition. You want to get the highest individual score, but part of that involves helping your buddy. Just perfect.

The clever thing about a number of these games is that they incorporate custom Miis into play. The on-screen text suggests that the goal is to teach you how to use the Wiimote. That may be true, but it's beside the point because the games are ridiculously fun. A true rebirth of the "I even don't want to know what time it is" gameplay that made so many lifetime Nintendo fans out of ordinary citizens.
Design Element
Wii Play Review
Posted Feb 22, 2007 — 12 comments below


Stephan Cleaves — Feb 22, 07 3633

We (my wife and I) also picked up Wii Play (the morning of the only real snow storm we've had this year). Personally I was primarily in it for the extra Wii Remote since we only had one. Still need a second nunchuk, but at least we can play Tennis together now. I was quite as excited by the games as you. I think the Laser Hockey, Charge, and Tanks are the best offerings. The Billiards game is ok and the Shooting Range is somewhat fun but I was disappointed with Table Tennis. It doesn't strike me as a very realistic game of table tennis, but perhaps I don't have enough experience with the real game to judge it. Pose Mii is indeed odd. Fishing and Find Mii seem a bit boring.

Stephan Cleaves — Feb 22, 07 3634

s/was quite/wasn't quite

julian — Feb 22, 07 3635

How coincident! I just received my Wii Play today. The alien abduction Mii thing made me laugh for minutes... :D

Gareth — Feb 22, 07 3637

Wii play is definitely worth the extra money it costs on top of a wiimote.

The best game hands down is tanks. That game is so much fun, and gets quite challenging in the higher levels. You could (and I have) literally play it for hours without noticing the time go by.

I'm surprised you liked the ping pong game so much. I hate it, just when you finally get used to controlling it the ends change and all the controls reverse. Yuck!

Marco Masser — Feb 22, 07 3639

I second that opinion on the tanks game. A friend of mine and I played it just because I wanted to show him what kind of games there are on Wii Play and the next time we took a look on the clock it was 7 am... No further comment...

Joachim Bengtsson — Feb 23, 07 3645

Play was fun for a while, but not a very long while. A few days, maybe. I come back to it once in a while to play Tanks, though. Especially fun with a friend.

I wish they would have done more with laser hockey; that one is very fun but would have been even more fun if the ball wasn't so slow at the beginning of rounds.

Blain — Feb 23, 07 3646

Am I correct in looking at Tanks, and thinking, "Woohoo! Someone's resurrected Combat!"?

atma — Feb 25, 07 3654

I am serioysly thinking to buy Wii over PS3. There's no serious reason for me to have both. I just want a new generation plaything. XboX360 is not an option, I love Nintendo because of Zelda, I had a SNES and a Game Boy when I was a kid. Then I bought the PS1 and the PS2 when they first realesed them.
Now I don't know what to choose, everyone was waiting for PS3, but it seems that Wii has cought most peoples attention on the internet.

Nikki — Mar 19, 07 3741

The Wii Play is real fun. I do like Charge though, my 5 year old enjoyed watching, and Find Mii, she was excited to find the look alikes. My god I got thru 25 levels of Find Mii. I couldnt pass the 5th level for sooooo long, then I just guessed and got it. I didnt know it was when 2 Mii's were lookin some other way from all the rest, then I read, the next time an Odd Mii out section comes up, its when they are out of rhythm with all the rest, like arms moving differently or something. Mii's swimming! OMG that was almost impossible. If you made Mii's with something distinct it'll be easier, and the more Mii's you made the easier it'll be. Mii's with sunglasses, Mii's with beauty moles on there cheek. Someone sent me Jesus, and Michael jackson!! HAHHA they are easy to find. :)
Enjoy the Wii Play! Nikki

Jory — Mar 20, 07 3744

Someone I met from Japan informed me that the name of Wii Play in Japan is actually different. It literally translates to English as "My First Wii". I'd say it's pretty obvious why that wasn't the title of the game in the US. :-)

Jory — Mar 20, 07 3745

BTW, my immediate impression of Wii Play when I got it was that it is like a modern console version of the old Game & Watch games Nintendo made in the early 80's. I think this is especially true of Pose Mii.

Laffern — Sep 06, 07 4585

Wii play is great for those of us who like simple quick games to pass time no and then. You need virtually no skill to have fun with many of the games, yet, you can spend endless hours improving your skills to achieve higher scores or outwit your friends in multiplayer.

Why don't the game developers get that there is alot of people out there who would like to buy cd's packed with simple games ? (well, D3 gets it sort of, I guess...)


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