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In our house this tends to be chosen over the Wii Fit when it comes to playing as a family.
There are sixteen games in total according to the box, but some have failed to ignite any real interest, so I think we probably only play about 8 or 9 of them regularly.
The graphics aren't very sophisticated compared to newer games and for people who really care about that aspect there might be some disappointment. However I wasn't fussed about that quality, because the ability to play head to head was the aspect that I was looking for. My son did kick up a small fuss initially about not being able to use our own Miis, but soon forgot about it once we started playing.
While you can play in single player mode, and in some games you have to, the real joy here is when two players are on the mat together, slugging it out to win, so those are the games we tend to favour.
You can chose the mode, so either you decide the individual games you want to play one by one, or you can have a challenge set by the game, which means playing a series of games dictated to you. From the onset we've always gone for picking the games ourselves, although that does cause some arguing in a party setting that could be avoided by letting the software chose what game is next.
I wouldn't say that the games themselves were particularly ground breaking or innovative, but for the mat format they are a good fit and avoid over complicated instructions.
By and large if the game requires you to run, jump, hit or steer on screen, that is what you do on the mat (with the Wii remote in hand if needed). Mums are advised to check they have support before they begin, the running and jumping takes its toll. I can go through the motions on the Wii Fit without breaking into a sweat or needing a supportive bra, not on this game though. Playing side by side gets the competitive spirit to kick in and I move more.
It is also so nice to have a break from yelling "DON'T JUMP ON IT !!! which is needed for the less child friendly Wii Fit. My son and his friends have bounced like fiends on the mat without causing any damage and it is so cool to watch them get excited and really get physically into a game, without having to rein them in all the time for the sake of the equipment.
I do have some niggles.
While I insist on shoes and socks off I obviously don't wash my floors enough because the mat is getting quite grubby after extensive use and being all electronic I'm leery of trying to clean it. Obviously I lost the intructions, so I'll have to keep looking on line for some advice if it gets truly grungy.
It could have done with a more slip proof back. Nobody has gone flying or head butted the telly, but the mat does travel a little on my very slippy, tiled floors when pairs of overexcited kids are leaping about on it. The lead is long enough but wildly enthusiastic play means it doesn't always stay as extended as possible.
It's quite bulky, so storing it where it is both to hand (but not underfoot) is proving to be an issue. At the moment it is folded up on top of a bookcase to keep it away from the cats (one of them thinks the fabric is perfect scratching material), which does nothing for the aesthetics of my living room.
The practical issues I have with the game aren't serious enough to detract from how much fun it is though and I'd replace it if it died. We've just had my sister and brother-in-law over for a week and this was played with for three evenings running, with much screaming, laughing, pushing and outrageous cheating going on, which is essentially the sort of family entertainment I want from a game, so I feel I got my money's worth.
It could be improved , but I'd pick this, as it is, over the numerous games that we've bought which are very glossy, but disappoint when it comes to having fun.
This is purely personal opinion, but I think that due to the lack of sophisticated graphics and mode of play this is a game that would fail to excite for somebody who tends to chose games for solo use, it is the atmosphere of competition and playing together that lets it shine.
Certainly I've found, as the mum of an only child, that he doesn't really get into it for more than five minutes unless one of us (or an extra child I have roped in) joins in.
There is a good video on YouTube that lets you see if the quality of the graphics are up your street, the amount of room it takes up, how you play, a quick look at the types of games and how much more freedom the kids have in terms of jumping about compared to the Wii Fit.
Well I have to say, I really really love this game! I actually got it for free when I bought my wii, and it took me a while to get round to playing on it... my initial thoughts when looking at the box was that it was trying to rip off wii fit.
When I set aside some time to play it I actually found it to be one of the most fun games I have played on the wii so far! The games are really fun, especially the running ones... I don't know whether it's just me but I found myself running on the mat exactly like my cartoon wii character which was very amusing for all who are watching you play!
There is a massive choice of games that you can play all of which are designed to exersice different parts of your body and you are able to choose different modes depending on what you are wanting to do. At first when I started playing the different games I thought wow this is fun but I'm never actually going to lose any weight doing this... but after about 10-20 minutes of doing the different games you will definately start to feel the burn!
Having been an avid fan of wii fit I was very much looking forward to playing on wii family trainer. I have to say that this game proved a disappointment to me. The games are quite short and you tend to spend most of your time in the menu screen (even more so than on wii fit). I also found that the games were quite boring in comparison to wii fit (which is one of my personal favourites). The game itself is easy to set up and the sensor pads on the mat are excellent - they very rarely, if ever, miss a movement. A couple of the games are good fun - but I would say a maximum of three I actually enjoy playing. It is a game that is easy for the whole family to play and join in - but not one that I would recommend. If anyone was deciding between this and wii fit then I would say definitely go for wii fit.