A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while the game can be a lot of fun, instructions on how to get to various areas of the park are non-existent. This might frustrate some kids. Also, the host spews his opinions without audio, and those opinions are fun but are sometimes nonsense. Your kid with either love this, hate this, of ignore it by scrolling through it.
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What's it about?
It's summer vacation and time to play hard. In WONDER WORLD AMUSEMENT PARK, you'll indulge in 30 carnival minigames, some of which are challenging, especially when you try to beat the high score. You'll go on five rides, too, in a quirky, tiny carnival setting. There is supposedly a story mode here, but it's nothing more than moving your boy or girl avatar through the five areas of the amusement park.
Wonder World could have been a very good game if the game makers had simply spent more time on giving the player a user-friendly experience. As it stands, it's a good game with various flaws, not the least of which the lack of instructions on how to progress in the game. Do you have to beat the high score in each minigame to move to a new area of the park? Do you just have to play all the games? Do you have to buy a special prize with tickets the host gives you to proceed? It's never made clear, not in the game and not in the instruction booklet. What a sad, frustrating, egregious error
Is it any good?
The minigames -- all of which are played with the Wii remote for shooting, throwing, and tossing (and sometimes with the Nunchuk for aiming) -- are intriguing and occasionally maddeningly hard. Plus, they have some twists to them. For instance, the version of Whack-A-Mole called Rodent Riot has special power-up moles that, when hit twice, double your score.
While some of the minigames can be repetitive, a few of the five rides feel like the real thing. In Sky Cannon, you are shot through the air and make like a wild acrobat in the sky. In Castle Terror, you'll see spooky things as you race.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about old school amusement parks and fairs. Wonder World isn't about big rides a la Disney -- it's more about the family park near your home which has some old school rides and attractions. Which games or rides did you like playing most? Does this game come close to creating the excitement of going to an amusement park?
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