Wii Play Updated Hands-On

We point, thrust, and twist with the finished PAL version of Nintendo's minigame collection, which just hit shelves along with the Wii in the UK.

Wii Play may seem like an apt title for Nintendo's minigame collection, but the Japanese equivalent is even more fitting. Translated as "Your First Step to Wii," the package seems to be designed as a beginner's guide to the Wii Remote. Bundled with the peripheral at launch in the UK, Wii Play offers a total of nine wildly different games which each offer a chance to practice with the motion-sensitive controller. With GameSpot's UK Wii here at last, we put all of them to the test, including two games which we hadn't seen before.

The first game is Shooting Range, and it uses the Wii Remote as a firearm with which to destroy balloons, clay discs, cans, and UFOs. The remote is pointed at the screen, and you use the A button and trigger to shoot. Using the remote like this proves to be satisfyingly accurate and fun. Shooting Range offers plenty of nods to previous Nintendo titles, most notably Duck Hunt. Those who played the NES classic will immediately recognise the mallards, although the laughing dog fails to make an appearance. One of the highlights is the ability to pick up a second remote and go double-handed, firing on targets with both hands. Like all games on the disc, Shooting Range accommodates a two-player mode.

Find Mii is an observation test where you're tasked with finding look-alikes and odd-one-outs. The screen is usually full of Mii characters, and you have to point the remote at the one that's looking to the left instead of the right, for example. As you progress through the levels, this becomes an increasingly tricky task, with characters strolling down a street or swimming down a river, but the controller responds quickly and accurately throughout.

Billiards is one of the more energetic minigames to be found in Wii Play...

A rather basic version of table tennis comes next. Unlike the tennis game on Wii Sports, this is about positioning your racket to receive the ball, with the hitting action done automatically. This makes it rather strange to play, as all you're doing is moving the remote left and right. The single-player challenge is to reach 100 points, which means that this particular game could become pretty dull. This is followed by Pose Mii, where you point and twist your wrist to guide your floating character into the matching silhouette shape. It starts off at quite a sedate pace but becomes more frantic as the shapes drop faster and the rate at which poses need to be switched increases.

Laser Hockey is an obvious homage to air hockey, but instead of the paddle directly mimicking the actions of the controller, you use the remote as a pointer, which lets you twist the paddle and smack it against the puck to send it flying into the opponent's goal. Not only does this seem like one of the more visually stylish games in the compilation, with vibrant neon sparks bouncing off the sides of the table as the puck rattles around, but it also has more depth than you might assume. The amount of tilt put on the remote can produce dramatically different results, while turning the controller completely and using the other side of the paddle produces superslow shots, allowing for a wider range of tactics and a greater sense of control.

Like Laser Hockey, Billiards is a rather energetic game which simply cannot be attempted sitting down. You line up a shot by using the directional control pad and then hold down the B button and pull back your arm before driving it forward to take the shot. While this initially seems a bit unusual, it is easy to adapt to, and you can soon start to experiment with backspin and topspin for trick shots. While this degree of control is a good selling point for the Wii Remote, it's not found in the final sports-themed title on the disc, fishing. This one is a rather shallow game, and the only thing you need to master is placing your rod near the biggest fish. The game is intended to offer a respite from some of the more frenzied games in the collection, but it seems too flimsy to encourage repeat play.

...as is Laser Hockey, which is a neon-lit take on the traditional arcade game of air hockey.

The final two games (which were locked away in preview versions of Wii Play) are fairly bizarre curiosities. Charge! has your Mii straddling a knitted cow, riding it down a track, and smashing scarecrows out of the way. The remote is held on its side, as with racing games such as Nintendo's Excite Truck. The controller is tilted forwards to increase speed, back to slow down, and left and right to steer the bovine around the course. You can also give the controller a quick flick to make your Frisian steed jump. It's refreshingly original and proves to be as entertaining to play as it is to watch, although it appears there is only one course to try--which is disappointing considering the minigame's potential. The other new stage, Tanks!, is probably the most conventional game of all, with the aim being to destroy an enemy fleet. The task is made trickier because all the commands are squeezed down onto the controller, although there is the option to use the Nunchuk, which makes the control mechanics vastly easier. By default, though, the tank is moved by using the remote's directional pad, and you aim and fire at the enemy by pointing the remote and pressing the trigger.

While the amount of game time that can be eked out of Wii Play seems limited, there are challenges to keep you occupied. Medals are relatively easy to obtain, and some levels have more two-player appeal than others, but at just £5 more than the remote on its own, this package could be an attractive proposition. Those expecting something similar to Wii Sports may be disappointed in Wii Play's simplicity and brevity, but for those who want an extra little bonus and a few more minigames to demonstrate the Wii's potential, Wii Play may well be worth a purchase.

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Discussion

75 comments
Courtawulf4
Courtawulf4

air hockey and pool sound like great ideas. But everyone knows that the only reason they are planning on buying it is because of the free wiimote.

darklink124
darklink124

at least it wii be more entertainment than wario

oldschoolplayer
oldschoolplayer

I do like when they release bundle games that have more than two decent games to play and this one with the remote looks great. I will admit I am still on the fence as far as the 360 or Wii goes but the Wii just keeps looking better and better. The selling point for me is going to the Madden Series. I like where this game is going with the wii. I just hope they release NCAA 2008 with the Wii which they most assuredly probably will. What I will probably end up doing is getting the Wii then getting the 360 down the. I really like the looks of this game. Think of it you get Wii sports with the system then this game and another remote. You are ready to rock and roll.

jubbo_subbo
jubbo_subbo

i agree with linkyshinks. not flash by any means, but definitely shows off the controller's versatility. clicking on different parts of your mii at the 'game select' screen will give a few chuckles... Tanks is one bloody addictive game too!

mrbrightside99
mrbrightside99

I just cant wait for this game to come out, especially since WiiSports was great, which most games that come with the system are not too great, and on top of that I hate sports. So I could imagine that this game will fully show what the Wii is capable of doing, all while being a great multi-player. (Plus I don't mind the free remote) =X

n2Deepeth
n2Deepeth

Sound like a good deal. I'll be getting the package as soon as it comes out (I got bought in by the remote, so I'm guessing it's about $50 in the US ($40 remote + $10 extra for the game)).

linkyshinks
linkyshinks

Ive got it , it's alright but certainly not brilliant, i got it free with a new controller £30.. LS

elputas
elputas

awesome. a FREE! wiimote, that rocks

homsuplo75
homsuplo75

I can't wait for this game to come out. I've been looking for so long for some video games that I could have my wife join in with me. The Wii is that console and these types of games are the ones that will bring her into my gaming world.

Pacrone
Pacrone

It's sounds funny, but this is the kind of collection of games that will sell this system. I brought my Wii to my inlaws house this past weekend and by the end of the night everyone was ready to go out and buy one just because of Wii Sports. Sure the hardcore gamer scalfs at this type of game and dismiss it as kids stuff, but the older generation who are turned off by the control sceme of the newer systems like the pick up and play of the Wii.

locoskier77
locoskier77

Wii play sounds more like a collection of games that should be free of download off of the store. Seriously... Sure maybe it might attract some non-gamers, but it really sounds like something that should come of the store or as something that comes with some other game. Its just doesnt sound worth it to have Wii sports and Wii play.

Distinctive_Fin
Distinctive_Fin

Either get the Wii sports or get the Wii Play. having both is a waste of money and either truly teaches you how to use the Wiimote efficiently. On top of that, save the 10$ (using current currency exchange) for something better if you already have Wii sports. seems like something you get your friend to buy and eventually trade. Just my observation and opinion.

MTB_rider
MTB_rider

Every one will get this, why buy an extra controller when for an extra $5 you get a game

mr_squibble
mr_squibble

I hope we see this in the USA soon for a mega cheap price. I will be disappointed if it's only packaged with the Wii Remote, as I do not really want to purchase another one to play this.

Redeemer9968
Redeemer9968

lmao, thk god its in canada, i was looking through all the comments like where can i get it, and BAM canada lol

Dirty_koolaid
Dirty_koolaid

why the crap didn't the US get this. kinda pisses me off. and i have no need for another remote as i already have four... arrrrgh.

2w-sephiroth
2w-sephiroth

I got it, its great and fun, My favorite is the pose Mii!! You will understand when you get that game! It just made me smile, its got to be the music :) and its so much fun!

sleepy357
sleepy357

The games seem really fun. I just hope I don't get bored playing them after an hour.

TryMe01
TryMe01

this game is out in ALL regions besides the US. It's a shame that i cannot put this game into my collection on this site...

jonesyboy1
jonesyboy1

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ninja929
ninja929

I really liked Wii sports and can't wait till this one comes out. Very creative gameplay. Way to go Nintendo

Nintendo_Man
Nintendo_Man moderator

It came out in Australia at launch.

JAREDJR
JAREDJR

Can't wait to try it here in North America (Canada)! Hopefully Nintendo continues to include these added bonuses with accessories, or even make them available on the Virtual Console eventually, which is a no-brainer.

phgoff_stclair
phgoff_stclair

I'm pretty sure it's already out in Australia now. Saw it in Dick Smith Powerhouse the other day.

tricache
tricache

when is this out in Aust??? cause this looks damn awesome!!

grafkhun
grafkhun

seems good, a third wiimote another batch of games for anyone... yeah this and wii sports will be the highlight of all my family renunions, my family doesn't even know what mario is and these types of games are perfect. Also i am glad that nintendo relly is reaching out to diffferent audiences with wii play and brain age and brain academy for the DS, these games are godsends for non-gamers and allow hardcore and casual too mingle. and it's only and extra 5 euros or whatever and that equals to maybe like 8 or 10 u.s. dollars? plus the wii mote which is 40... thats a pretty good deal.

koopi
koopi

It's a very funny game! Especially the cow and laser game. :) I've never had so much fun with a console before. Me and my family played Wii Sports and Wii Play for several hours, and we laughed so much we cried! :D

MadCatMk23
MadCatMk23

hmmm.. ill propably never get a wii cuz i rly suck, but im getting one of those for no real reason.. gr8..

MadCatMk23
MadCatMk23

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

gav250
gav250

im gettin this 4 christma. its a great deal

Re_ensurer
Re_ensurer

Great deal. Games and a Wii remote. :D

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

awesome. mini games with a wii-mote is coo with me!!!

LanceK17
LanceK17

Its a very good deal. I think I'll get it !!!

dont9
dont9

I've got this bundled with my second wii-remote and have to say it's pretty dang good. Some mini games are obviously better than others but it's a lot of fun and a great way to show off your Wii to noobs. The 'duck hunt' style shooter is possibly the best.

XRaurosX
XRaurosX

Well, I'm probably going to purchase this in the future, then.

Mikeplus2
Mikeplus2

I have this game and it's quite good the laser hockey and cow racing are my favorites, if your wondering how i got it i'm in Australia and its out for retail already. This is all true!

kriptonzz
kriptonzz

I like that cool laser game :)

Twinset77
Twinset77

$5 for and Wii Game I'll pay.

mrzakko
mrzakko

FSK405K & Slayer85, I was playing this on a demo unit the other day; you can fire using either the A or B button, and I much prefered the B button. I thought the game would be quite good for introducing people to the Wii, and seems quite good value compared to just buying a remote on its own if you want 2. Don't know how replayable it'd be though, and Table Tennis did feel very strange, as the preview says!

slayer85
slayer85

i guess its kind of like pushing the saftey off and then hitting the trigger, but it still sounds kind of dumb

FSK405K
FSK405K

In the firing range, "you use the A button and trigger to shoot?" How many weapons have their triggers where you press with both your thumb and fore finger? (None). Why didn't they just make the B button fire as will every single developer making a game with guns? Unless the writer simply used the wrong word, "and" where it should have been "or?"

flasheypants
flasheypants

the three videos posted look pretty fun i cant wait to get this

Ploppyplop0
Ploppyplop0

"CheddarLimbo What the deuce? UK gets this at launch, but in the U.S. we have to wait until mid-January? I feel snubbed." ...And now you know how the UK feels with practically every release of anything, ever...