GAME REVIEW: Wii Play Motion

Anyone still lamenting the Nintendo Wii’s lack of quality titles is just wasting their breath at this point, because its audience has been figured out for quite some time now, as evidenced by the onslaught of minigame collections targeted at those who only power up their Wiis when they’re having friends and family over. Though there are quite a few compilations out there to choose from, Nintendo’s own “Wii Play” series is probably one of the best, and the latest installment offers up 12 new games that fully utilize the system’s MotionPlus expansion device. If you don’t have a controller with MotionPlus yet, don’t worry, because “Wii Play Motion” comes with a black controller that has the hardware built in, and it’s actually a lot nicer than the bulky add-on that was first released.

As for the games themselves, it’s pretty hit and miss as you might expect, although there aren’t any that are so terrible that you’ll never want to play them again. Star Shuttle, which puts the player in control of a spaceship that they must then dock onto a space station, is certainly the most frustrating of the bunch due to its steep learning curve, while the stone skipping simulator, Skip Skimmer (say that five times fast), isn’t nearly as fun as the real thing. The rest of the minigames range from cute to addictive, like Cone Zone, an amusing balancing game using ice cream scoops; Veggie Garden, a suped-up version of Whack-a-Mole; Pose Mii Plus, a variation on the Japanese game show “Human Tetris”; and Teeter Target, a cool mash-up combining pinball and marble mazes.

My personal favorites, however, were Spooky Search and Treasure Twirl. The former is probably the most innovative game in the collection and has you searching for ghosts using the Wiimote like a metal detector and then reeling them into a containment unit à la “Ghostbusters.” Treasure Twirl, on the other hand, may look boring at first sight, but it makes great use of the Wiimote as you twist it around like a crank to lower your Mii into the deep sea to hunt for treasure, all while avoiding obstacles like sharks and jellyfish. As usual, each game has different modes and levels that you can unlock as you play through them, and you’ll even earn medals for your performances. The biggest downside is the price. But if you’re in need of a new controller, it’s not a bad investment, because while “Wii Play Motion” isn’t something you’ll likely revisit on a regular basis, it’s a nice addition to any party game rotation.


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