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Monday, September 20, 2010

Club Penguin Game Day! on Wii Impression

Club Penguin from Disney; a site targeted at youngsters with addictive activities and of course coin collecting … to buy stuff. With a strong online following the franchise made the move to the Nintendo DS with Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force and Club Penguin: Herbert’s Revenge. These two handheld, mission based adventures retained the look and feel of what Club Penguin is known for and now it’s the Nintendo Wii’s turn. Club Penguin: Game Day! on Wii takes a different approach to the franchise yet still rewards fans. How, let’s take a gander.

Gameplay – A Wii mini-game extravaganza set to the Club Penguin license. Quick play allows gamers to jump right into the initial 6 unlocked games (12 total) while Tournament allows for some head-to-head action in the same games. The bulk of the single-player action happens with Story Mode which sees gamers picking 1 of 4 colors to conquer the island and all its games and challenges. To complete the game all four colors must unlock 100% of the island. The mini-games are a collection of a study in past Wii motion games as there are multiple uses from shooting segments to leaning/bob sled, hopping Java jump and snow ball fights with a throwing motion. Not a one trick pony. Collecting coins (more on that in Misc.) is a huge piece of gameplay and gamers can take their penguins with them to friend’s homes and gather/transfer more coins. While this is a kid targeted game the hard setting offers some decent challenge and random events really throw a monkey wrench into cocky gamer’s plans. The true fun is that these games can be enjoyed by all ages, yes something the marketing team would say, but true none the less.

Graphics – Look at Club Penguin online and that’s what gamers get. Bright and vivid colors and mini-game graphics that capture the essence of the family friendly franchise and look good. This is Club Pending, a known franchise with a known look and feel and it’s replicated nicely on the Wii.

Sound – Lost in the mix of action. Sound effects are fun and fitting to the settings but as for any music, nothing too really mention here as gamers will be wrapped up in the addictive gameplay.

Design – A study in Wii motion controls rewarding the advanced gamer with more advanced moves but keeping it simple for the kiddies. When a seasoned, grown gamer can jump into a vivid color, penguin infested party game and not complain, well then that’s something special.

Miscellaneous – Coins and exclusives. Club Penguin online gets visitors hooked by helping them gather coins in every event, coins which can then be used to buy items or transfer online to buy items on Club Penguin online. There are also 24 exclusive unlockable items in-game that can be won/purchased and transferred so this is a game that really rewards fanbase, not just another Wii mini-game collection.

Overall, the mini-games and story mode in Club Penguin: Game Day! will be a trip for kids with its variety and license. The license is the key as this title has an audience but did not just do a quick cash-in game. It’s fun and imaginative, great in groups and addictive in its new items to gather and coins to build. A nice first effort from the folks at Disney with a solid license behind it.

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