Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Wii Play: Motion

Wii Play: Motion

Fall 2011 Video Games
Ages: 10 & Up
Price: $49.99
Gaming System: Nintendo Wii

You get the feeling Wii Play Motion, the sequel to Wii Play, is basically a demo game created not so much for entertainment value but to show off what the latest high-quality Wii motion-sensor controller can do. It even comes packaged with the Wii Remote Plus controller—the upgrade of the Wii MotionPlus add-on to the traditional Wii Remote controller.

That said, it doesn’t mean this entire collection of 12 minigames is a waste of time or just an extended commercial. Some of the games actually are bizarrely fascinating and fun, such as Skip Skimmer. It’s about as basic a videogame activity as it gets, but there’s a nostalgic and Zen-like quality to it as you choose different stones from a shoreline and fling them (using the Wii Remote motion) skipping across the water to score points.

The games demonstrate the improved functions of the new controller, as in Cone Zone, where you hold the Wii Remote like an ice cream cone and tilt it this way or that to help your little Mii character balance a gigantic ice cream cone as an unseen Scooper in the sky plops huge scoops on top making it dangerous for other little Wii beings below who are about to get creamed. It’s good for a game or two but, unlike actual ice cream, it gets tiresome. Veggie Garden is kind of like reverse Whack-a-Mole, in which you must whack the mole before it steals veggies. In Jump Park, you bounce your little Mii character around to snatch up sparkling gemstones from the air, and in Wind Runner your uses an umbrella to catch gusts of wind and collect gems. Among the cleverest of the bunch is Spooky Search, where you must point your Wii Remote Plus off-screen around the room to locate ghosts (the Wii Remote’s built-in speaker beeps louder and faster as you come closer to a ghost) and trap them.

Parents should know that there is one shooting-gallery game in which players point the Wii remote to aim a crosshair at oncoming UFOs, ninjas and dinosaurs. But it’s no more violent than a shooting gallery at a carnival and no blood or pain is exhibited—the shot enemies just fade away.

The rest of the games aren’t so good, but keep in mind a new Wii Remote Plus is included with the games. Buying Wii Play: Motion, then, is a good deal. Several of these games are very entertaining, especially for younger players.

Don Oldenburg   ©2011 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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