Sat 17 Nov 2012
Any game that comes packaged with the Wii U (well, some of the Wii U models... the $300 Basic set is Nintendo Land-less) is going to struggle to replicate the success of Wii Sports. That title probably single-handedly sold tens of millions of original Wii systems, because it was a perfect fit for Nintendo's new motion-sensitive Wii Remote, introducing the new control concept using simple, sports-based games. Wii Sports was the game you could bring out at a party, confident that even your non-gamer friends would be able to grasp the basic concepts after five seconds of explanation and actually have fun.
Nintendo Land has a much more difficult job: showing new Wii U owners how to use the touchscreen GamePad in unique and interesting ways. The developers have put together 12 wide-ranging minigames that show off everything about the GamePad: its tilt and touchscreen features, its stick and button controls, its ability to display information hidden from others players.
It’s difficult to discuss such varied minigames in aggregate, so I've broken this review down into smaller capsule reviews of each one, arranged here in rough descending order of how appealing I found them. Scroll down to the end for a more general wrap-up and recommendation for the game as a whole.