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Love your Wii, but still recovering from the injuries you received playing “Wii Sports”?

Try “Wii Play.”

Nintendo’s latest title for its Wii game console makes good use of the system’s motion-sensitive controller, but manages to tone down the intensity a bit.

It contains nine games, each of which requires participants to make different gestures and motions with the remote. Aim and pull a trigger on the shooting range. Wave the controller back and forth to play table tennis. Twist and turn it to play a simplified hockey game.

The games can be played by one or two people.

Some of them can be very fun. The cow race involves guiding your heifer along a course, jumping hurdles and knocking over scarecrows. Billiards involves working the angles and “cue stick” just right. Target shooting can be amusing, especially in the final round, where you have to save humans from being abducted by aliens. The final game features “toy” tanks that battle inside a maze.

Other games aren’t so hot — such as finding different animated characters (called Miis, created by the players) in a crowd and posing Miis so they fit into outlines. The fishing and table tennis games aren’t all that thrilling, either. However, each of them improves somewhat in head-to-head competition.

Of course one game store clerk pointed out that “Wii Play” doesn’t really need to be great to be worth its $50 price tag. It comes packaged with a Wii remote, which is worth $40. That’s a huge plus, especially in areas where the remotes have been in short supply.

Bottom line: “Wii Play” often feels more like a tutorial for the Wii remote than a game. However, it still offers some fun — as well as that extra controller.


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