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Wii Play / The Wii House: Day One
Written by James Hobbs

James and Ed went to the secret Wii House in London...

Stream removed...

Whilst we had already got our hands on Wii Play at the BBC Good Food Show, we didn't manage to play all of the mini-games, and so in the interests of fairness we gave them all a go. Sadly, it's a bit of a mixed bag - whilst some of the games are wonderfully fun and exciting, some are so impossibly dreary that they could have been dreamed up by a German at a funeral. Nine mini-games are present in total.

'Shooting Range', as the name suggests, consists of shooting various on-screen targets by using the Wii remote as a gun. It works surprisingly well, and is essentially Duck Hunt with a polygon count. 'Find Mii' consists of a Where's Wally type affair, with the challenges getting progressively harder - I managed Level 13 before giving up in a petulant rage. One of the reps boasted that they had managed Level 46 - sadly I'm not that tenacious or patient to put up with that amount of cranial abuse! 'Table Tennis' was a shoddy affair, that managed to keep our interest for all of 3 minutes. 'Pose Mii' was simplistic to the point of banality, with the player having to rotate his Mii to fit a prescribed shape and form.

'Laser hockey,' despite the potential for quality ( Monkey Ball DS managed something similar quite nicely ), was terrible, with shoddy controls making for a thoroughly annoying experience. 'Billiards,' thankfully, was a well-executed and patient game, that actually does require some skill to perform well. This was my personal favourite, despite my embarassing performance. 'Fishing' was a fairly terrible outing that suffered from control problems, as well as probably the most ridiculously low-par graphics I've seen in many years. It looked as if it had been knocked up in 5 minutes by a Nintendo employee with a hangover.

'Charge' came in a close second - this game concerned itself with the frankly ridiculous notion of racing cows into scarecrows ( clearly this employee had been smoking a bit too much, as opposed to drinking ) whilst simultaeneously leaping over fences. Utterly bizarre, but utterly fun at the same time. 'Tanks,' the final game, was fairly fun but not particularly captivating - the only reason it retained my interest was because I was thoroughly thrashing the promo girl. At the game.

Wii Play would be acceptable for younger players, but even unexperienced older gamers would become frustrated with the ineptitude of some of the mini-games. The free Wii remote is obviously a bonus, and that coupled together with the fantastic 'Charge,' 'Billiards,' and the acceptable 'Shooting range' means that this title might just be about worth it. However, Wii Sports is by far the more competent package - perhaps that should've been the 'sold seperately' title.

1 - Introduction
2 - Wii Play impressions
3 - Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz impressions
4 - Twilight Princess impressions
5 - Tony Hawks' Downhill Jam impressions
6 - Excite Truck impressions
7 - Rayman: Raving Rabbids impressions
8 - Call of Duty 3 impressions

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