If you haven’t yet tried out the Wii, you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking, “Right, this is just what I need. A way to get my kids to spend more time playing video games.” I know you’ve heard this before, but the Wii is different. It really is, but you won’t believe it until you try it for yourself. So go find a friend who has one, try it out, and then get your own. I’ll see you back here in six months once you’ve tracked one down. (See the sidebar for tips to speed up your Wii wait.)
Crazy for wii
My husband was skeptical of the whole Wii craze, and I’ve never been a big gamer, so it’s kind of strange that I spent two months convincing my oldest that a Wii was a great alternative to a ninth birthday party. But I really wanted the Wii for the Wii Fit, the exercise game that uses an amazing Balance Board to track your form and movements as you complete various physical challenges. The night we got the Wii, my husband and I set it up, and within moments, we were hooked.
The joy of the Wii is that it really is intuitive, and everyone can enjoy it right out of the box. Speaking of the box, it comes with Wii Sports, which has terrific multiplayer games your family will enjoy. In fact, your biggest problem will be getting enough remotes to satisfy all the players in your house. Wii Sports offers fantastic versions of tennis, golf, bowling, boxing and baseball. All the games can be played by one to four players, and half the fun is watching the rest of your family miss shots you’re sure you could make—until you get your turn prove yourself wrong. You’ll all improve with time, though, and have a lot of fun doing it.
If your children are elementary age or younger, Wii Play is a great second game to purchase. The disc includes nine games that even small children can master. Older tweens and teens will find the games too easy too soon, but the younger set will love playing table tennis, laser hockey, billiards, fishing, and the other games on this disc.
To encourage family fitness, you can splurge on the Wii Fit, an expensive add-on because of the extra hardware (the Balance Board) it entails. Smaller kids will probably avoid the yoga and strength training in favor of the aerobics (including step and hula hoop games) and balance games like Ski Jump and Penguin Slide, but older kids and parents will probably get quite a workout.
Dance Dance Revolution is another title that wins high marks from most players. Match your foot and arm movements to the screen to boost your score in this game for one to four players. The music is a big part of the game, and the tunes are catchy and upbeat, which means that kids of all ages and adults can have a great time.
Playground and Carnival Games are two more titles that support multiplayer games and make for great family fun. While older kids will likely tire of these quickly, younger ones will have a blast discovering their strengths and beating their own high scores. With these games in your house, you can count on many hours of family fun.
Even in the heat of summer, the Wii is in high demand, and supply is limited. But there are a few ways you can improve your chances of scoring the hottest game console.
Visit Wii Alerts and sign up to get text notification when the Wii is in stock at any or all of several major retailers. Numerous similar sites exist, but this one has the fewest false positives.
You can also bag a bundle – but do it smartly. Look for a bundle that includes things you actually want. We got our Wii as part of a Circuit City bundle that included Wii Play (which comes with one extra remote), another extra remote, and an extra nunchuk. We’d have purchased these items anyway.?