While the upcoming Wii U game Nintendo Land has been highly touted by Nintendo, it is not the only mini-game the publisher is rolling out for the console’s launch. There is also Game & Wario (I strongly hope they’ll have a better title by winter), which, like Nintendo Land, shows off some interesting features of the Wii U Gamepad.
During a recent Wii U press event I had an opportunity to check out three of the four mini-games available in the demo version of the game.
The best mini-game I played was “Arrow,” in which players hold the screen lengthwise and fire arrows at enemy attackers by pulling down on the feathers then letting go. You move an onscreen aiming reticule by tilting the gamepad. Besides shooting attackers, there are a few land mines you can blast that will wipe out a whole group. Tickle the point of the arrow and it will turn red and cause more damage. If any enemies reach you they appear on the touch screen, where you must quickly stomp them with your finger. I liked the way the game moves the action seamlessly from one screen to another, and firing arrows worked quite well.
“Shutter” is also kind of interesting. In this one you use the gamepad as a camera, the goal being to take pictures of people on screen. On the TV you see several buildings with people opening and closing blinds or driving the roads. On the gamepad you see a close up of one section of the screen, and you can zoom in and out and search around. It’s helpful if you have a friend who can watch the TV and help you find your targets.
The other minigame I tried, “Ski,” was less impressive. Holding the controller lengthwise, you have a top down view of a skier and have to tilt the gamepad to lead him down a mountain path. While the screen shows a 3D view of the same skier, you can’t look at the TV and steer accurately, so ultimately all you’re doing is playing a 2D skiing game that would be at home on an iPhone.
While many people have asked whether Nintendo will be bundling Nintendo Land with the Wii U when it launches, if Wario has some asynchronous-style games in its quiver then Nintendo might instead wind up choosing this for its Wii U bundle. We’ll find out when the Wii U launches later this year.