Arcade Sports is a WiiWare game from the developer Icon Games. It is made in the vain of WiiSports, allowing you to play four unique sports games. The games included are Pool, a variation of Pool called Snooker, Air Hockey and finally bowling. Each game feels very unique, and does justice to the actual sport, while still keeping the pick up and play feel of a casual WiiWare game.
I will go into detail about how each game feels, starting with bowling. Very similar to WiiSports’ version of bowling, the game here allows you to choose the direction and aim of where you want your ball to go, and then you swing the Wii Remote as you would a bowling ball to throw. This version of the game however doesn’t feel as intuitive as previous iterations, as sometimes when you will throw the ball, it will wildly go off in an undesired direction, and this leads to some frustration. The controls can also be very unresponsive, and not very accurate. I will sometimes take a second before you swing the Wii Remote and the ball is thrown. However, it’s still a competent version of the game, and is a fun way to kill time.
Next up is Pool, which I found to be much more fun than the bowling game. You have a few game type options when you choose to play Pool, as there are various rules that you can go by. All of the widely known ones are here, such as 8 Ball and 9 Ball. The controls are pretty simple for the Pool game, as you point the Wii Remote at the screen and use the D-pad to line up your shot on the cue ball, then hold the B button and pull back to choose your power and to shoot you just let go of the B button. However, the controls are a little unresponsive here as well, as it is hard to control to where you hit the ball and how hard you hit it. Also, sometimes you will be shooting all over the board to try to hit the ball that you want. The game can still be fun if you take your time to make the shots, and are even better if you are playing against a real person, not just the AI.
The third game I am going to be talking about is called Snooker. If you do not know what this is, it is a version of Pool played mostly in Britain, where you line up a bunch of colored balls, some red, some blue and some other colors, and shoot them into the pockets as you would normally. Each color is worth a certain amount of points, and the player with the most points at the end of the game wins. This game controls the same as Pool, so some of the same controls problems arise. However, it is also pretty fun in most aspects, and can lead to some challenge against the AI opponents.
The final game in this collection is Air Hockey. This is by far the best game in the set, and the most fun I have had while playing this game. The controls here are the simplest, and only require you to point your Wii Remote at the screen and sliding it around to hit the puck to score goals. Games can get very frantic as the AI attempts to trick you, but you can fake them out as well. This game is best played against a human opponent, as it makes it the most fun in that regard.
The more you play the game and the better you get, you are able to upgrade to the advanced control scheme. With the normal controls, pretty much everything is taken care of for you. However, with the advanced controls, you have to make almost all the motions yourself, and this leads to further frustration in the control department.
There are three modes that the game offers as well, Season mode, Exhibition and Multiplayer. Season mode consists of you playing through different variations of the set of games, and against different AI opponents in tournaments. This mode is pretty well done, and gives you a good sampling of all the games in the set, and lets you see how each one of them plays. Also, you are able to choose an avatar to represent you in the mode, and can customize your profile at any time. They do have a good variety of avatars, ranging from all different types, and I like the customization aspect.
As for the other modes, Exhibition is just a pick up and play mode, and lets you choose what game you want to play and by what rules and difficulty. Finally, multiplayer mode is a split screen mode that allows you to play against a human opponent across all of the games with various rule sets. As I have stated, playing this game against a friend or family member is by far the best way to play this game.
Overall, this collection of games found across almost all bars in the United States is a decent offering. It does have some control issues however, and can be very frustrating at times because of this. Some of the games work well in this collection, and others don’t. I know I will probably pick it up and play Air Hockey once in a while, and most likely never touch the bowling because it is done much better and more intuitive elsewhere. However, you can do much more harm for an eight dollar download somewhere else, and at best it is a good timewaster.
Review copy provided by publisher.