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5. Wii Play
2007 | Wii
Copies sold in US: Close to 900,000
Average score: 58%
Marketed as the followup to the wildly popular Wii Sports, Wii Play was a collection of nine shallow minigames. Essentially just a bundle of Wii-remote tutorials disguised as disappointing games, Wii Play can keep up to two players captivated for about as many minutes, and is notable mainly because it comes packaged with a Wii remote.
The company line: "Wii Play collects nine quick and addictive games that are easy to pick up and play and hard to put away."
What the critics said: When even Nintendo Power magazine gives a Nintendo-produced game a 7 out of 10 score, you know it can't be terrific, but nearly all the critics agreed on one thing: if you're buying Wii Play for the Wii remote it comes packaged with, then it's worth it.
Of course, they didn't leave it at that. The Onion A.V. Club wrote that "the 'low-budget, high-fun' strategy that paid off for Nintendo with Brain Age and Wii Sports finally draws a blank." Even the most positive reviews for the collection gave muted praise, most of it directed at the Shooting Gallery, Laser Hockey and "Tanks!" minigames. The truth was, Wii Play presented a dilemma for critics, which was laid out succinctly by Electronic Gaming Monthly: "Play is for people who don't really play games, and as someone who really does, that's a problem."
Why you bought it anyway: Wii Play isn't so much a game packaged with a Wii remote as it is a Wii remote packaged with a game. Much like the Wii itself, Nintendo's control wands were impossible to find in the early months of 2007, so if buying a cheap set of uninteresting minigames made getting one easier, then so be it. Hell, we bought this too.
What went wrong? Probably the biggest problem with Wii Play, at least from a critical standpoint, is that it's intended for an audience that is the exact polar opposite of people who write about games for a living. To figure out if you're a member of said audience, ask yourself the following: is Wii Sports the only other videogame you've played in the last 80 years? If so, you might find Wii Play interesting for longer than 15 minutes.
Most infuriatingly positive quote: Gaming Target's Zoe Cohen provides this one, saying, "The replay value is limited to when… your Wii hungry friends come over to play." We admit there's nothing infuriating or even particularly positive about this sentence, but because even the highest-scoring reviews of Wii Play were all droningly lukewarm, we decided to giggle at "Wii-hungry friends" instead. Also, we are five.
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