WiiWare Finally Gets Some Rhythm!

It’s about time. Last Spring, Nintendo launched WiiWare, a downloadable game service on the Wii, but I haven’t been all that impressed by the scant titles they’ve made available since then. This week’s offering is different: Helix, from indie developer Ghostfire Games. In my view it’s the first WiiWare title to truly capitalize on the game console’s unique functionality and diverse audience. More crucial, it’s WiiWare’s first music/rhythm game, an entry in the seemingly unstoppable genre which accounts for 32 percent of the industry’s growth so far this year.

Plus, it’s pretty freaking fun.

Think Dance Dance Revolution, but for the upper body. Holding two Wii remotes in either hand, you imitate an on-screen robot in a fast routine of arm swinging, swaying, and waving your hands in the air like you just don’t care. As with DDR and all the many games it’s spawned, you need to time your movements to synch up with the glowing symbols that fly across the screen.

All this is accompanied by fairly decent electronica dance music, though Helix is too frenetic and choppy to feel like dancing. Still, it’s a good workout. For the Wii’s future outlook, that’s another important plus — it’ll easily appeal to the 6 million+ who bought WiiFit, and prime them to look for more downloadable content on WiiWare.

Image credit: www.ghostfiregames.com

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