Support Andy, click to buy via us...
Marvelous minigames should abound on the Wii, but a lack of vision and execution often hampered the genre. Guinness World Records repeats the trick pulled off by Mario and Sonic at the Olympics Wii: quality in depth minigames with a strong overarching theme. Here, it is obscure Record Breaking rather than Olympic success but the enjoyable result is the same - hugely enjoyable family fun.
Mini games come in a variety of shapes and sizes. What unites the genre is the speed with which players can pickup the games and the relatively short time required to complete a level or two.
Guinness World Records is unique because of its record breaking brand cache. Its unique selling point, that you can experience that thrill of being best in your household, local region, nation or world. The game reflects the book in its selection of wild and wacky record breaking challenges. Whether you want to be the best at eating a plane, throwing washing machines, jumping a BMX or the classic ripping phone books there is something for you hear.
When you start the game you can register you region (I was surprised to find it knew where Devon was) so you vi for the top score in your locale. Provided your Wii is hooked up to the Internet you can then download the latest local, national and international scores to compete against.
Each of the activities has a unique set of controls and proves to be well executed. A short demonstration introduces the controls before you have a crack yourself. Most of them combine two or three Wii-mote and Nun-chuck motions and button presses. These waggle based games often feel rather arbitrary, but here the sense of occasion and intelligent choice of motions means that they make a lot more sense.
Once you have complete the task in hand you are taken to a high score table. Here you can see whether you have beaten your own personal best, those in your household, region or even nation. If you consistently get high international scores, you have a shot at registering your progress towards an actual world record for inclusion in an upcoming Guinness volume.
The only down side is the lack of simultaneous multiplayer. The emphasis here is on individual performance, and each player has to take it in turns. Mario and Sonic at the Olympics Wii which has a similar feel, provides more multiplayer fun as you can compete against other players at the same time.
Players will be drawn to the game by its wacky challenges and well executed presentation. However, it is the competitive nature of the game that will keep them coming back for more.
Seeing your score up as the highest in your region (or even country) is a real motivator to keep playing until you achieve it. In fact such was the case for me that I ill advisedly carried on attempting to break the BMX high jump record even with a sore shoulder - something I paid for the next day.
Each of the activities can be completed in a few minutes. However, to understand the mechanics and depth of implementation repeat plays are unavoidable. It is only then that you start to approach a respectable score and have a chance of registering online against other players.
Very Young players may struggle to register a respectable score, but should still enjoy playing with the various minigames. The pointing activities may prove a little hard for some (as this is the trickiest of the Wii's control types) but with a little help they should soon be getting through most of the events.
Intermediate and slightly older players Will really enjoy the sense of competition the game draws from its World Record Breaking licence. Being the top player in the house is quite a thrill, but getting your name up for your region is very exciting.
Expert players may find some of the silly-ness of the activities a little much to bear. This needn't be the case however as they provide plenty of opportunity for experts to use their skills to get higher scores. Each offers a surprisingly nuanced interface that needs a deft touch and keen eye to really excel at.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: