A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn about healthy body movement as well as the basic rules of some common sports in this accessible collection of sports-themed mini-games for up to four players. Activities encourage players to move their arms in gestures mimicking real sports, which should result in a light workout. Kids will learn fundamental elements of each game while they play, such as scoring rules and various shot types. They'll also practice their social and friendship skills when playing in a group. Wii Sports' goal is to have fun in a group, but young kids will likely come away better aware of what it means to play the five sports featured.
Fosters cross-generational gameplay. However the gameplay in Wii Boxing involves punching opponents for sport.
Positive Role Models
The avatars in the game mimic your motions. The other Miis on the screen are supportive of your efforts to play sports and get exercise.
Ease of Play
The game comes with excellent tutorials and is easy for all ages to play.
Violence & Scariness
In Wii Boxing players simulate a punching motion by swinging their arms. These punches hit an opponent's face and body; there's wincing and a thudding sound, but no blood. You win a round by knocking an opponent out.
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Products & Purchases
The baseball scoreboard says "Nintendo Wii," and there's a banner advertising Wii Sports in the tennis stadium. All other banners display innocuous, made-up slogans like "Big Bat," "Superstars," "Power Up!" and "Hit a home run!"
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Wii Sports is a virtual sports game that everyone from 5-year-olds to grandparents can enjoy. It comes bundled with every new Wii console. While the multiplayer mode is the most fun feature, parents should make sure that all players have enough room to move and swing their arms. The only violence occurs in the boxing game, which parents of younger kids can skip. It requires players to jab with the Wii controls, hitting an opponent's virtual head and body to try to knock the opponent out.
Is It Any Good?
Are the games simplistic at times? Sure -- Wii Baseball, for example, is little more than a batting cage where you try to hit balls out of the park. But in Wii Tennis, your player moves around the court automatically, but you control the ball's direction, spin, and speed as you hit forehands, backhands, overheads, and lobs. The only game that might concern parents is Wii Boxing, where two boxers square off with the goal of knocking each other out.
Because of its simplicity and easy-to-learn controls, Wii Sports is the kind of game that everyone -- even non-gamers -- can participate in together, and that's what makes it so compelling. It fosters cross-generational interaction, making it great to bring out at family gatherings and parties. And the fun multiplayer mode means endless re-playability. This game ushers in a new way of playing video games, one that motivates players to move, stretch, bend, swing their arms, and be active.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.