Wii Play cover

PLATFORM: Nintendo Wii

I wanted to like this game. I love competition. Maybe not as much as I used to, but games like Wii Sports and Warioware are so simple that it allows the competition junkie a fix anytime someone walks through the door and asks, “What’s a Wii?”

No matter how much I wanted to like Wii Play, however, I just couldn’t. Actually, I’m convinced that playing single player for more than seven hours total will strip you of your sanity. Multiplayer, restricted to two players (which I understand to some degree, some degree), is at least more tolerable than single player. Nonetheless, the game is so poor that I actually made up words to describe to my friends how terrible it is. "Atrolescent" is my favorite.

Wii Play was not bundled with or even released at the same time as the Wii in the US. It’s weird because it doesn’t present the translation problems of something like Super Karate Monkey Death Car by Jimmy James. I can only imagine that Wii Sports was seen as the more attractive alternative for the US crowd. The problem is that the game is way too basic to be released at this point.

Worse yet, it isn’t even a game. It’s a tutorial that keeps score. For whatever reason, however, Nintendo decided to dumb down the game so much that the only person challenged by this game would be someone who had never heard of a video game before. Who wasn’t from this planet. Who couldn’t see.

Wii Play consists of nine minigames, from Table Tennis to Cow Racing. Because of the nature of the content, I’m going to change up the structure of the review and take a look at each minigame on its own to better relate its atrolescence.

Shooting Gallery

The game is a shooting gallery where the player targets balloons, targets, clay pigeons and UFOs. Yes, UFOs.

Previewed way back when Wii was known as the much cooler Revolution, many thought this was going to be a stand-alone sequel to Duck Hunt. As a nod to its presumed NES predecessor, ducks periodically cross the screen as bonus targets. The game, however, ends up playing as a fool’s Duck Hunt.

To add ease, the game displays the players cross-hairs on the screen, thus taking the little to moderate difficulty of Duck Hunt and eviscerating it. To add retardation to stupidity, the targets reappear in the same spots. After 3 sessions, the game is more like Memory Gallery that Shooting Gallery. With no difficulty and no randomness, Shooting Gallery lacks any of the compulsion Duck Hunt corralled.


4.0 out of 10

Pose Mii

The game gives the player the option of placing its Mii in three positions, Missionary, Doggy and Reverse-Cowgirl (if only), and asks the player to fit the Mii into a descending bubble. As the game progresses, the bubbles get faster and the player must change Mii positions faster.

As a trainer for different Wii Remote movements, its fine, but that’s not a game. The concept is boring; the play, while very accurate, is boring. If you have people over and ask them to play this, they’ll hate you and sleep with your husband.

2.0 out of 10

Find Mii

This Where’s Waldo: Wii-style is so unholy that anyone who likes it automatically becomes the Karl Rove’s personal assistant. Examples of gameplay include:

“Find the two Mii’s that look alike”

“Find the slowest Mii”

“Find the Mii that doesn’t match”

Maybe if they job was to “Find the Mii touching itself,” there would be some humor or it would be at least educational. But this is just awful.

And don’t give me that kids and grandma crap. It’s insulting to call this a game to anyone under 6 and anyone over 96.

1.0 out of 10

Table Tennis

This may be the most disappointing game in Wii Play. The single player is a slap in the face, as the player doesn’t go up against the computer. Rather than have a game with competition, the player can only rally with the computer. No game scoring. Complete 100 rallies or volleys or hit-the-ball-backs (whatever you want to call it) and the game ends.

For multiplayer, the paddles move side to side. For the Wii, that limitation on movement is lazy design and misses a good opportunity to demonstrate spins and other techniques. The game claims you can add some spin, but trust me, you won’t notice.

Wasted opportunity.

5.0 out of 10


Just stick a stiff rod in a tiny shallow pool.

No real technique, just wiggle it around until something nibbles.

If you feel a vibration, you have tug on it until it comes out.

Size matters. The bigger, the better.

Oh and Wii Play has fishing too.

3.0 out of 10

Nine Ball

This is probably the most realistic and best game for Wii Play. The game seems to possess real controls, allows for real spin and low-and-behold allows for a legitimate competition (in multiplayer). So how do they fuck this up?

To cater to people who have never heard of nine-ball, (which means you’ve then never watched ESPN2 at 2 am wondering how Allison Fisher would look in a swimsuit), instead of a normal game, they decided to use a remedial scoring system then assigns points to a ball number. Sinking the 1-ball is worth 1 point, the 7-ball is worth 7-points. You get it.

The game doesn’t end, however, with sinking the 9-ball. You play until the table is empty. What makes this weird is that game includes the rule that you can combo with the current ball and not scratch. For example, you can use the 5-ball to knock in the 8-ball, out of order. I mean if you knew that, you’re telling me you can’t handle the rest of nine-ball?

That’s not retarded, that’s spinach-strong retarded.

6.0 out of 10

Charge! (The Cow Race)

Apparently, someone though it would be cuter to have Mii’s race on cows rather than horses. Or maybe its because only Link is allowed to ride on a horse. I don’t know.

Using the remote like a motorcycle throttle and handlebar, players race cows along a path while collecting bonuses for bumping into scarecrows and jumping gates.

The game, while silly, actually isn’t as dumb as I described it. The controls are exceedingly accurate and for multiplayer its actually a decent race game.

6.0 out of 10


What has to be the most unique game of Wii Play, the player acts as the captain of a tank (blue for player one, red for player two) pitted against other bot-tanks in a struggle more dramatic than CNN’s Anna Nicole coverage.

I swear this was a game for the Atari 2600 of the same name, (maybe no exclamation point) but for some reason they took away the one-on-one competition in multiplayer. (Ian sez: Man, I loved Combat.)

What is this, WW II? I want to kill a red bastard. Instead, the players are supposed to team up to battle enemy tanks and the player with the most kills gets the win. Yea, teamwork!

5.0 out of 10

Laser Hockey

Neon lights form a rink with two neon staples battling with a neon puck for neon supremacy. Call it laser hockey, but if I had only three words to describe it, they would be: gay air hockey. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, its just what it looks like. I’m going to get letters.

While Nintendo described this as a masterpiece of video game physics (no, seriously, they did), I found this to be one of the worst controlled games on the disc. Maybe I was playing it wrong. Maybe I was frustrated at my wife beating me as hard as if I had said “you know, all my ex-girlfriends liked it in the butt,” but I just didn’t like how this game played.

The shitty part is this was the only game in which Nintendo didn’t mess with the classic concept like Table Tennis or Billiards. This is straight-up air hockey, that allows competition, but it just didn’t work for me, dawg.

4.0 out of 10

The Verdict

I think that more than awful, this game is extremely disappointing. Each minigame could have been vastly improved. Even with a slight improvement this game goes from extremely poor to wildly mediocre, but Nintendo seemed to shift the minigames away from the most marketable thing, competition. Why do we play Mario Party or Warioware? To show our friends, family and the homeless that Max Wright is finished with that we are better than them. Why take that away from me?

Really the only reason to buy this game is for the Wii Remote. Yes, every Wii Play comes with a remote. Seeing that in most cases, depending on store and the offered deals, that Wii Play is about $10 to $15 more than the remote, it’s not the biggest waste of money. But I’m not giving it a better score because of that. It would be horseshit to rate the game higher or give it a pass because of the relative cost.

Better yet, it would be horseshit to rate the game higher because it’s supposed to be an introduction. This would be the same as introducing a friend by saying, “Hey this is Greg. He’s a fat slob who can’t get enough pictures of Dakota Fanning.” I mean, it’s an introduction, but you can do better than that.

Overall: 3.0 out of 10