Wii Play is a fifty dollar game packaged with a forty dollar controller. There’s not much point in buying it if you don’t need an extra Wii controller; if you do need an extra controller, however, is it worth paying an extra ten bucks to get the game as well?

My answer: sure, why not, but it doesn’t make a big difference either way. It’s a collection of nine minigames, each of which can be played with one or two players. I played through them all once with Miranda; we basically enjoyed it but weren’t blown away. I played through them all again in single-player mode, some of them more than once. I didn’t mind any of them (well, Find Mii was annoying at times), some were rather fun (Billiards, Tanks). I might have spent more time on it if, in the modes that get progressively harder, it had taken less time to get to the difficulty level that I found enjoyably challenging.

So I’ve spent maybe three pleasant hours playing the game, and I have a collection of two-player minigames that might get picked up again in the future. Fine for ten bucks (and I’ve already used the extra controller, my fourth one, so I’ve gotten use out of that aspect of the package, too); people without video game experience might appreciate the way it’s structured as a controller tutorial. (To that end, a Wii plus Wii Play would be a very good combo for some people: a console, two good introductory games, two controllers.) In general, though, not something about which I feel like going into depth here (any more than in real life).

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