My daughter is going Wii!
June 5, 2007 1:31 PM   Subscribe

Wii for kids?

My daughter is getting a Wii for her 12th birthday, and I've been tasked with finding out which games to get. She's not a big gamer, so I'm not sure what she'd be interested in. She has a DS now, and she spends most of her time on Animal Crossing and Nintendogs. There are several sites that give suggestions, but many are a bit dated, and, since I've only ever even seen a Wii in person once, and didn't play with it then, I'm having a hard time making an informed choice. Any suggestions?
posted by MrMoonPie to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (23 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by ludwig_van at 1:34 PM on June 5, 2007

Best answer: Right now, in many people's opinions, the Wii is best suited for multiplayer. This tends to manifest in minigames (Wario Ware, Mario Party, Rayman Raving Rabbids), so you can browse that to determine what she might like, but additional controllers are $60 ($40 remote + $20 dongle). So if she has someone else to play with, consider tipping some of the birthday funds away from games into one or more extra controllers.

I haven't played Super Paper Mario or Trauma Center: Second Opinion, but they both look like very unique one-player games that take advantage of what makes the Wii so much fun. I have played the new Zelda, and of course it's great.

Also, the Wii lets you download old NES, SNES, N64, Genesis and Turbografx titles. The prices are high, but if you've never purchased these games before, it can be worth it. For another $20 you can get a controller designed for those games (they use buttons not on the Wii remote).

Finally, the Wii also plays Gamecube games directly. No one wants to get a Wii and a bunch of Gamecube games, but once she's gotten accustomed to it, there are a lot of great games available cheap ... although they will also require an additional controller.
posted by blueshammer at 1:39 PM on June 5, 2007

Oh, for $10 more than the cost of a new Wii remote, you can get Wii Play, which is 9 minigames plus a new remote. Wii Play gets ragged on, but there are some good solid titles there, and it's worth the $10 surcharge, especially for a younger gamer.
posted by blueshammer at 1:41 PM on June 5, 2007

You'll get a lot of fun out of Wii sports which comes with it. My girls love boxing, baseball and bowling. I'll pay attention to recommendations though, because I'm interested too.
posted by idb at 1:42 PM on June 5, 2007

Best answer: Well, nothing on the Wii is really dated yet -- there just haven't been that many games released for it. You will get Wii Sports with it and that is a great game. You will probably also want to get her at least one extra Wiimote and Nunchuck combo, so you might as well get Wii Play (some very simple games plus a Wiimote for $50, as opposed to $40 for just the Wiimote). Raving Rabbids is plenty of fun, and makes good use of the Wii's capabilities. Twilight Princess (the Zelda game) is nothing like Animal Crossing or Nintendogs, but I know that my daughter really likes just watching me play (she's only 6) and is really into the story and puzzles. Mario Party 8 and Smooth Moves are the other party games that I bet would be fun for a 12 year old and her friends, but I haven't tried them personally.

On preview, as blueshammer says, don't forget the vast Gamecube library. Pick up a Wavebird (wireless GC controller) and you can use it for all the Gamecube games and anything on the Virtual Console.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:43 PM on June 5, 2007

Mario Party 8 is fantastic, but I do NOT recommend it if she will be playing alone... it is really intended for multiplayer. By that token, you will probably want to get at least a second controller, so picking up Wii Play with the packed in controller is almost a no brainer, as stated above.
posted by utsutsu at 1:48 PM on June 5, 2007

Best answer: I've played a bunch of Wii games, here's what I would recommend for the younger gamer:

Wii Sports (included)
WiiPlay (includes a controller)
WarioWare Smooth Moves - might encourage ADD, but it's fast and fun either single or multiplayer
Elebits - gets a little repetitive quickly, but it is cute and good fun for a while
Cooking Mama's Cook Off - Simple but can be great fun, two player cook offs are a blast
Mario Party 8 - Great fun for a bunch of people, not so much fun on your own
Rayman Raving Rabbids - Minigames with good variety, fun on your own or with others.
Excite Truck - if she's at all into racing games this will blow her away. Don't let your assumptions fool you, this game controls well and is a blast to play.
Super Paper Mario - From what I've played it's pretty simple but fun.
Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess - only if she's into longer quest type games and has a lot of patience

I wouldn't recommend Trauma Center for a 12 year old girl, if only because the difficulty can be unforgiving and it can get pretty intense. There
posted by yellowbinder at 2:01 PM on June 5, 2007

Super Paper Mario is like training for Legend of Zelda:
  • start new level
  • run around to different areas and fight things
  • find the special thing that will let you get to the rest of the areas on the level so you can do the things there
  • fight a boss
  • exit level
  • repeat

posted by mikepop at 2:21 PM on June 5, 2007

Wii Sports is a favorite in our house (kids 9, 5, and 3), and even Wii Play (the game set that comes with the extra remote). My daughter loves to help my wife cook, so she's a big fan of Cooking Mama in all its cheesy happiness.

We have Paper Mario and Warioware too, but I think my wife and I are the only ones who've touched them.

I imagine adults would find a long series of "mini games" to be tedious, but it keeps our kids (especially the younger ones) engaged, versus other games with maps and levels.
posted by pzarquon at 2:31 PM on June 5, 2007

My 12 year old really likes Super Monkey Ball. It has 1 player and 2 player modes.
posted by Biblio at 2:40 PM on June 5, 2007

My kids love Wii Sports (especially the tennis and bowling), Wii Play, and Raving Rabids -- they're trying to figure out Mario Party 8, which my 8-yr-old just got for her birthday this weekend.
posted by mothershock at 3:16 PM on June 5, 2007

Gamer Dad (Wii Reviews) is a useful resource for reviews that specifically mention kid-friendlyness.
posted by davar at 3:40 PM on June 5, 2007

Here's my vote for Elebits, Kororinpa Marble Mania, Wii Sports, and Super Monkey Ball.
posted by starscream at 4:07 PM on June 5, 2007

Wii sports got played first night, Wii Play got used the second night.

Zelda was bought third night and hasn't left it yet. (and probably won't till we beat it.) But we have no kids, so YMMV. I've heard fantastic things about Paper Mario, but haven't tried it yet.

Someone should open another MeTa thread for exchanging Wii codes. My Miis are lonely.
posted by quin at 4:55 PM on June 5, 2007

I liked gamerdad for reviews.
posted by selfmedicating at 5:06 PM on June 5, 2007

I'll Nth Super Paper Mario and Rayman: Raving Rabids. I own both games. Super Paper Mario is a long, thoroughly engrossing, RPG-like platformer with great replay value. Note that it is a single player game.

Rayman features a host of quirky little mini-games. Some weird shit, I tell you. Whacking rabbits with a shovel, picking worms from their teeth, launching bunnies off cliffs, you know the drill. Fun, but it may require a frank talk about drug culture.

Watch out: Mario Party 8 received godawful reviews.
posted by nilihm at 5:51 PM on June 5, 2007

Although it has had some so-so reviews, I like Mario Party 8 quite a bit. Don't play it alone, and don't expect it to change your life. It's just a fun time waster with friends.

Raving Rabbids is a teriffic game, which no Wii should be without. The dancing bunnies section of each level is always my favorite.

Wario Ware: Smooth Moves is the first game I bought, and all of my friends beg to come over and play it. Excellent for multiplayer, and a bucketful of fun.

Spiderman 3 sucked out loud.

I'm heavily in the "Wii is for multiplayer" camp. I have friends over pretty regularly, and that's when the Wii gets the most use.

If I'm playing alone, it's some old game on Virtual Console. And I don't know where the above poster got the idea that the old VC games are expensive. NES titles run about $5, which is what you'd pay for the old gray game cart at a used game shop ON THE LOW END. SNES games are $8, and N64 games are $10, if you're in the States. When I'm jonesing for an old Zelda fix, $8 for Link To The Past is a steal.

Also, the people saying not to forget GameCube are spot on. Mario Kart Double Dash is another favorite around here, and there are gads of GameCube games out there dirt cheap.

Also, if you're going to get GameCube games, do it right with WaveBirds. They're the Cadillac of GameCube controllers, and the Wii is really meant to be wireless. You can get pairs of them on Ebay for $30-40 these days.
posted by SlyBevel at 7:49 PM on June 5, 2007

Rayman is great, and my young female cousin loved it. Mario Party was fun on GC, so I guess it would be on Wii, too. Excite Truck is awesome, but that will depend on your daughter's tastes.
posted by robcorr at 7:50 PM on June 5, 2007

N'thing Raving Rabbids. My friends have a Wii, and both parents and the 7 year old son love it.
posted by booksherpa at 8:50 PM on June 5, 2007

Also have a 12-year old at home and Wii Sports has probably been played the most, followed by Wario. Wii Play is fun, but gets old rather quickly (it's worth it to get the controller as others have mentioned).

Elebits was fun for about a day. Cooking Mama was fun for about 15 minutes.

We are planning on picking up Mario Party 8, as we have really enjoyed the other Mario Party games.

Oh, and get Pikmin! (Harvest Moon is another Gamecube game she might enjoy).
posted by Otis at 6:36 AM on June 6, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice, all. Right now, I'm leaning towards Wario Ware and Rayman Raving Rabbids. Wii Play sounds like a good deal, but the games just don't seem to be up my daughter's alley. Cooking Mama actually sounds great, but the reviews (especially about the controls) have been very mixed, and I don't want her getting frustrated. My daughter's personality is heading in a cool wacky kooky direction, and she's not very competitive, so Wario and Rayman look to be perfect.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:00 AM on June 6, 2007

Wii Play gets ragged on, but there are some good solid titles there

It does? Good lord, my six-year-old and I have been giggling our way through the cow riding since we got that game. It's awesome.

I second Trauma Center: Second Opinion for a 12yo who doesn't sound like she enjoys platformers as much, though I am really looking forward to the new Harry Potter game; it's supposed to make interesting use of Wiimote-as-wand if she's in to Harry Potter at all.
posted by Cricket at 1:09 PM on June 6, 2007

Response by poster: Followup: She's loving Rayman Raving Rabbids. The game's sense of humor is a perfect match, and the controls aren't overly complicated.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:32 PM on July 12, 2007

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