47 WiiWare Demos Reviewed
Recently I've played through all 47 demos on WiiWare that I can access as far as where I am goes, so generally the North America region. Here are my brief thoughts and arbitrary scores on each and every one in the order they're presented on the Wii Shop Channel. Keeping in mind that I'm rating the demo itself and how it worked out for me, also keeping in mind I'm not the best at games and am also somewhat picky.
- 2 Fast 4 Gnomz: 1/5
This just feels like a Flash or early mobile game that got on the service, and that seemed to happen a lot during its uptime. An auto runner type game with things to jump over, pretty much.
- 3D Pixel Racing: 1.5/5
It's a pretty basic racing game with motion steering. Not the best motion steering, though. Also very unforgiving on letting you fall off the track, you try to take even a minor shortcut and you're set back a little far.
- (A) Monsteca Corral: Monsters vs. Robots: 3.75/5
A strange Pikmin-esque game with MIDI music where you need direct a group of orange humanoids to collect bubbles to feed a giant maggot, all while avoiding robots that are there for some reason, plus this pterodactyl that I haven't figured out what it's there for. Generally just pretty strange and fairly straightforward, though using the motion controls to attempt jumps, especially in specific directions, is a bit hard to control, as well as layering that under a "shake to break things quicker" that of course causes jumps to happen.
- And Yet It Moves: 3/5
An old indie game that's been on other things. Essentially it's a platformer, but you can control gravity by rotating the world, and you have to manage momentum while doing so. Everything is also made of paper while you control "some guy" I guess.
- Art of Balance: 2/5
Generally just figuring out what configuration of shapes won't fall over, pretty basic gameplay in that sense.
- Aya and the Cubes of Light: 1.5/5
This is one of those games that maps a normal jump to motion controls for some nonsense reason. It's a platformer that takes place across a cube and also alters gravity when walking up certain ramps. Also it's not guaranteed how you'll hit an enemy to knock it out for five seconds before it respawns.
- BIT.TRIP BEAT: 3.5/5
It's one side of Pong where you need to hit all the balls back. The motion scheme used for this involves tilting the controller held horizontally forward and backward. Eventually this hurt my arm in an attempt to use it like a motorcycle throttle. It's somewhat engaging, at least.
- BIT.TRIP CORE: 2.5/5
Essentially you need to hit the right direction as well as the button in time to when the blocks cross the beams. I wasn't as interested in this approach.
- BIT.TRIP FATE: 4/5
I actually got pretty into this one. It's a sidescrolling shooter, but you're confined to a line as far as vertical movement, where you follow the curve of the line forwards or backwards. It's a bit like mapping Rez into a single dimension but also in 2D.
- BIT.TRIP FLUX: 2.5/5
Essentially this seems like BEAT but from the other side. I wasn't exactly looking forward to more arm hurt.
- BIT.TRIP RUNNER: 2.75/5
A somewhat interesting auto run game with a good soundtrack, but incredibly unforgiving, every run has to be a perfect run.
- BIT.TRIP VOID: 3.5/5
A game about sacrificing combos to survive a lot of dots on screen because the void expands and drags along more slowly at bigger sizes, so to keep in the game, you need to know when to be able to dodge instead of absorb. A neat take on the concept.
- chick chick BOOM: 2.25/5
Some sort of versus mode about drawing out powerups to destroy the other side in a turn-based approach. Would probably make more sense in actual versus mode.
- Chronos Twins DX 3.75/5
A strange simultaneous platformer across time periods where there might be some influence across the time barrier, but I didn't see a lot of it in the demo, aside from the ground affecting movement in both screens. I'm also pretty sure this is an enhanced port of a DS game.
- Dart Rage: 2.5/5
Once you understand how the controls work, it actually works pretty decently. They even make a point to mention a review that cited just that, essentially making a darts game with controls that work. The main shortcomings are that it's just generally a darts game.
- Dive: The Medes Islands Secret: 2.25/5
A sidescrolling diving game where you need to find lost treasures underwater while avoiding things floating around. It builds on itself to go deeper when finding treasure as well and revisiting old levels to get new things. However you have to hold the B button to go anywhere and that even gets tiring.
- FAST - Racing League: 2.75/5
It's sort of F-Zero but not really, you just need to stay on the track and hit the phase change at the right time. However it seems a bit sensitive as well.
- Fast Draw Showdown: 2/5
This is a port of an old FMV arcade game involving being able to draw and fire quickly and accurately. However the Wii pointer isn't the best at quick aiming because it always needs to find itself for a brief second, plus considering how light guns work, you can't afford to just rely on it being likely to find the bright spot in the screen. Also the video is pretty compressed, but blame the small size limit for that.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord: 2/5
This is a tower defense game, not so much as building towers to defend a path, but you build rooms on a tower to get in the way of people who want to get to the top for some reason. The way this works doesn't really make sense, though, because you add rooms which have a trap in them, which hits the enemy once, and they hit the trap once, and then they just climb up the ladder that they're next to the whole time. It would make more sense following the more traditional route of constant attacks and the enemy pushing through. It also seems like a strange thing to tie into Final Fantasy at all, but at least there's sort of a relation, more so than that one weird movie.
- Fish'em All!: 1/5
This is pretty much Waggle: The Game. You don't fish, you just swing a net around wildly to catch fish. That's about it. Not much to this.
- Fluidity: 3.25/5
This involves tilting the world to keep water together and getting things done with the water. Interesting way to play with fluid physics, presented in a sort of comic book panel style.
- Frobot: 2.75/5
Apparently the Unity engine existed on the Wii at some point. This is a sort of Zelda-esque top down shooter with varied weapons to solve room puzzles and clear them of enemies. It also features excessive disco features, and the gameplay feels a bit slow as well, from movement speed to projectiles in general.
- Furry Legends: 1/5
A weird platformer with weird graphics and that attempted to make a masturbation joke, I'm pretty sure. Also does not involve the kind of furry you were probably thinking about. Instead it's some weird fuzzy ball with a weird face. Also the music gets overly intense any time there's an enemy cube on screen. Also the enemy cubes can fly at you at any time with little warning, and you can do the same to them. However it feels weird to attack because you need to hold a button, aim the joystick, and then shake the remote in any way to attack in the joystick direction, instead of moving the remote in a direction or holding the button and pushing the joystick, but maybe they couldn't get the motion controls to be accurate so they settled on that.
- Gnomz: 1.25/5
Something about gnomes stomping on each other in some sort of party fight game. It might work better with actual people but then again the hit detection seems a bit off as well.
- Gods vs. Humans: 2.75/5
Another tower game, but this time you're trying to break it. You have powers to use against the people, but that's about it. It also seems to not be very frantic as such a game might seem to be.
- Jam City Rollergirls: 2.25/5
A game where I didn't know what I was doing for most of it so I just kept doing laps around the track. It's supposed to be a roller derby.
- Jett Rocket: 3.75/5
This seems like a weird Mario Sunshine type of deal, but you just have a normal jetpack and you collect solar panels I guess. What voice acting there is just happens to be cheesy as heck.
- Kyotokei: 1.75/5
A pretty basic game. Surprised it took this long to find a pretty generic shoot-em-up sidescrolling affair. The sprites and music look like they came from a website probably.
- LIT: 4/5
Actually more than I thought it would be. It's a puzzle horror type of game where you need to make paths of light to cross the rooms. This was also sort of made for Android and PC, but the art style and approach completely changed in the process and looks like a Newgrounds game. It feels more effective using the art style here.
- Lead the Meerkats: 1.5/5
I only got as far as making an initial burrow, then wasn't sure what to do afterward. Nothing was really showing up, I couldn't seem to dig into other burrows, that was about it. I think it might have a potential strategy angle but I wasn't finding it.
- Liight: 2.25/5
A color mixing light game where you have to aim things specifically to mix colors on certain dots while avoiding others. Fairly simple, but the aiming is just a bit overly precise to hit everything just right.
- Max & the Magic Marker: 3.5/5
A platformer where you have to draw things to progress. The demo was pretty short as well. Not bad.
- Mix Superstar: 3/5
For what it is, not bad, just another console interface to make music with predefined samples. This exists in a lot of other forms, though, so it's not entirely the most unique or best option for doing this, but the full version apparently has exporting.
- MotoHeroz: 2/5
Seems fine if you like Trials, except that you can fall over and not just immediately restart unless you go for perfect. But I'm not a fan of Trials, though this seems all right for that.\
- NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits
A platformer which is like a weird artistic Kid Icarus but you play the other person this time, also you can point at certain physics objects to move them around as platforms or otherwise. Also a lot cheaper on PC, but that's sort of the case between WiiWare and Steam.
- Paint Splash: 1.75/5
A basic painting program with a few different effects of sorts. That's about it.
- Pokémon Rumble: 1/5
I'm not a fan of this series in the least. This is where it started, though. It even starts going like, hey, you suck, get better through endless grinding. Literally murdering a tiny Rattata in front of your eyes, who will never get to live up its dreams of success. Its metal skeleton and its plastic skin shredded apart leaving nothing but an oily plastic-y mess. If it did that in that much detail I would have given this a higher score.
- Pong Toss Pro - Frat Party Games: 1/5
While Dart Rage had working controls, this one doesn't seem to work as well, the ball can be thrown anywhere.
- Racers' Islands - Crazy Racers: 1/5
A pretty generic racing game with bad controls despite making the joystick steer this time. You use the remote to shoot at the other cars when they work right. I'm not sure how this would even work in multiplayer.
- Rage of the Gladiator: 3.75/5
A Punch-Out clone set in a mythology of some kind, Greek or Roman or some mix and then some, for some reason you start being trained by a (stereo?)typical kung-fu master. While I'm not as big on Punch-Out, I can see what it does with its puzzle bosses, knowing to dodge and such.
- Robox: 1/5
Not Roblox, Robox. Some weird cube robot attempts platforming badly while suddenly you have to switch modes to the pointer in order to move things around inside. It's like a weird implementation of Bowser's Inside Story but not good.
- Soccer Bashi: 1.25/5
Pretty much Breakout or Arkanoid or whatever but on a soccer field and there's another paddle on the top randomly moving around. You mainly need to break the blocks, I'm not sure what scoring a goal would do.
- ThruSpace: 2.5/5
You steer a weird shape through holes, that's pretty much it. Rotate in any direction to do so.
- Urbanix: 1.5/5
This is a not very well put together version of that game where you draw rectangles to claim territory. It has a real name, I think it's Qix, but I always think of Miss World 96 Nude where you try to see a naked lady who keeps turning into some demon. It plays pretty much the same anyway, except this one can't decide how it wants you to hold the remote between gameplay and menus.
- World of Goo: 4/5
I have this on PC already, but it's a neat physics structure builder. All these bridge building games come out now, so it's definitely a genre, just that it has the dark commentative yet whimsical style 2D Boy and its derivatives have been known for.
- Zombie Panic in Wonderland: 2.75/5
A sort of light gun type game but also more of a shooting gallery where you fight zombies while staying in a small area. It works, at least.
- lilt line: 1.25/5
I had to take several attempts at the demo to figure out how to actually control it. Turns out they expect you to be holding the remote perfectly horizontally so the line doesn't drift. And hitting the button when you're not over a space that they describe much later just knocks down your score. And your score can't go up, only down, so a perfect run has a very specific score. Also it wasn't really worth figuring out the whole thing because it's just a bunch of dubstep.
So that's my thoughts on all of the demos, not so much the games themselves, but how much they'd have sold me on them. I might actually be considering a few of these soon, before the store closes the ability to add points to buy things in just over a week. Among others which don't have demos, that is, some notable ones there probably. I should probably point out this site
which has reviewed pretty much every WiiWare game out there, whether it's still up for purchase or not, if you want to know more about this soon to be history weird storefront thing.