Best kid-friendly Wii games this year
Lego Rock BandPictured Above
Who Is This For? Kids of All Ages, Music Fans
What's It Like? Music games are all the rage, and the creators of the Rock Band games partnered with Lego to create a music game designed with the family in mind. Like the other music games, players will use instrument shaped controllers and press colored buttons (or bang on color-coded drums) when prompted on screen. The customizable characters that appear in the background will all be Lego and the music is G-rated, from the likes of Jackson 5 and friends.
Equipment Needed Wii, three Wii remotes, two (2) guitar controllers, a drum controller and USB microphone. (Note: This is the equipment required for a full band setup; this game can also be played with a single instrument or any combination of instruments as well).
Release Date: November 2
Price: $50 (for game only), USB guitar/drum/microphones sold separately
New Super Mario Bros for Wii
What's It Like? The classic Super Mario Bros from yesterday comes back with a clever twist -- a multiplayer mode lets up to four players work together to break blocks, stomp enemies and collect coins through one colorful level after the other. There's a single-player mode as well. Take on Mario or his brother Luigi as they run, jump, stomp on enemies and use cool new powerups that make them grow or shrink -- and ultimately, play the hero by saving the princess at the end.
Equipment Needed Wii, Wii Remotes (up to four), Wii Nunchuck Attachment (up to four)
Release Date: Holiday 2009
Toy Story Mania
What's It Like? This collection of 30 mini-games starring Woody, Buzz Lightyear and other well-known characters from the Toy Stories movies is based on the awesome Disney theme park rides with the same name. Up to four can play each of the carnival-eque mini games, using the Wii remote to toss rings on Little Green Men, throw darts at balloons and chuck balls and pies at bulls-eyed targets. Some of the mini-games have a 3-D option, and will require 3-D glasses (the paper ones work fine) to take advantage.
Equipment Needed Wii, up to four Wii controllers, 3-D glasses
Release Date: September 15
Wii Sports Resort
What's It Like? The follow-up to Wii Sports, the insanely popular game that comes with the Wii for free, takes the same mini-game concept and blows it out. Players will be swinging, shaking and flicking the Wii controller to toss Frisbees, play table tennis, shoot basketballs, drive jet skiis -- 12 sports in all -- while working up a sweat.
Equipment Needed You will need the new Wii Motion Plus, a small $25 device that snaps into the bottom of the Wii remote to play this game. Wii Sports Resort comes packaged with one, but for multiple players, you'll need to buy more. Also, need a Wii, plus up to four controllers with Nunchuck attachments.
Release Date:July 26
Price: $50 (plus $25 for any additional Wii Motion Plus add-ons)
Star Wars: Clone Wars Republic Heroes
What's It Like? This action game is the second Wii game based on the Clone Wars TV show (the first was Clone Wars: Lightsaber duels released in 2008). Instead of dueling, this game presents a full-fledged action/adventure game. Players can choose from a handful of Jedi and clone trooper characters from the show and take out enemies using blasters, lightsabers and, if they're a Jedi, Force powers.
Equipment Needed Wii, Wii Remotes and Nunchuck attachments
Release Date: September 15