So, the Wii is all about bringing people together through gaming. Yet it only comes with one Wii Remote. How are you meant to make friends with just one Remote? Well, you could buy another Remote on its own for £29.99, or for an extra fiver you can get one with Wii Play, a collection of mini-games designed to help you get to grips with the Wii's control system. But is it worth those extra pennies, or would you be better off buying a Remote and putting the leftover money toward another Nunchuk?
Of the seven games initially available here, Pool is the most enjoyable and also the one with the most detailed controls. It takes a while to get used to the striking motion but once you've got it sorted the level of precision combined with the ability to add plenty of spin to the cue ball means you can unleash some pretty satisfying trick shots. With two players it's great fun, as it's always better making ridiculously flukey pots when there's someone there you can rub it in to.
The shooting game (called, ingeniously, Shooting) has loads of clever ideas built into its five-minute gallery. Instead of merely shooting the targets you need to avoid hitting targets with your Mii's face on them, keep tin cans up in the air by juggling them with your bullets, and stop little clones of your Mii getting kidnapped by spaceships. Oh, and there are ducks in there as well, of course. With up to four players competing at the same time it gets extremely competitive and is an enormous amount of fun.
Also surprisingly more-ish is Find Mii, a Where's Wally? kind of game. It starts simple by asking you to match two out of nine Miis, but it becomes ridiculously tricky with you having to find two people looking the wrong way in a crowd at a tennis match, or picking three lookalikes as a group of people cross a busy street. This is done against the clock and as you complete each task you get a small time bonus, so speed is the key. Thankfully, the Remote is so accurate you're not going to waste precious seconds lining up your target.
Strike A Pose
Pose Mii is the hardest of the games, not in terms of control but in terms of the pressure it puts on the player. A number of bubbles with silhouettes on them fall from the top of the screen and it's up to you to pose your Mii to match the shape of the shadow, then rotate them so they fit over it, bursting the bubble. This is fine until the silhouettes change constantly, so you have to keep pressing the A button to toggle your Mii's pose while trying to line them up with the bubbles. It's frustratingly hard yet oddly addictive and we kept coming back to it determined to beat our high score.
Laser Hockey is likely to be dismissed as a Pong clone with flashy neon effects. And at first glance you'd be right. However, the fact that twisting your wrist will turn your bat gives it a whole new level of physics and will make the game much more enjoyable. As a single-player game it's lacking (games like this are always dull against a CPU opponent), but don't forget that Wii Play comes with a Remote - it's there for a reason.
Fishing has you dropping your line in a pond and pulling out paper fish. It's simple and pleasant enough but perhaps a bit basic (there are only four or five kinds of fish), and at times the controls can be a bit vague. Still, it's a decent little fishing game.
In every mini-game package, though, there's always a weak link. Here it's Table Tennis, which has you keeping a rally going for as long as possible. It's good fun but once you hit a hundred shots it stops and you're told that you've won. Had it let you keep going to try and get a high score it would have been great but instead you'll soon have five high scores of 100 points, then you'll probably never look at it again. Unlocky In Love
Still, that's six enjoyable mini-games and one that's half-decent - and that's not all. There are also two games that are unlocked once you reach a certain score. If you don't want them spoiled then just skip to the verdict section now. Still with us? Good. Tanks is pretty self-explanatory and sees you bouncing bullets off walls in an attempt to hit your opponent, while Charge! has you holding onto a wild bull (with the Remote on its side as if you were holding its horns) and trying to steer it into the path of scarecrows. They're both also great fun, and round off an excellent package that offers a very diverse range of Wii activities.