|System: Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Majesco||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Majesco||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 20, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Almost all of the games are controlled by the stylus, and the touch controls make the activities more fun. Unlike the Wii version (which featured mini-games with broken Wii-Remote controls), Wonder World Amusement Park's system-specific controls actually work well, for the most part.
You'll use the stylus in a variety of ways. Toss games typically have you dragging the stylus from the bottom of the screen to the top and releasing it to throw; shooting games have you tapping the screen; other activities generally involve a combination of the two. Sometimes the stylus swipes won't register properly; most of the time they do. The touch controls initially take some getting used to, depending on the specific mini-game. Still, it's easy to pick up and play with this title; the instructions for each activity are thankfully intuitive and easy to grasp.
A more pleasant, straightforward presentation further irons out some of the issues from the Wii version. It falls on the goofy side of things, yet this is likely to appeal to the younger players who will be drawn to the title. The cel-shaded look may not be as technologically slick as the Wii graphics, but it makes the mini-games in the DS version look stylish and better composed. The striking differences in each visual theme also does a great job of giving the illusion of variety, even when it's not as present in the gameplay as you'd expect from a mini-game collection.
It shouldn't take most players - even younger gamers - particularly long to plow through the six areas and 30 mini-games Wonder World Amusement Park has to offer. This is mainly due to the smart decision to completely do away with charging players tickets to compete in most of the game activities. The Wii version required players to give up some of their hard earned tickets just to play the bulk of the mini-games. If they failed at a game, some of their bounty would be lost, and their chances of winning more tickets greatly impeded. This system not only made it artificially tougher to progress, it made the process of determining how many tickets you'd actually win in a particular game more complicated than necessary. Taking away this frustration is a double-edged sword, since it makes it much easier to complete the game very quickly.
Wonder World Amusement Park is one of the rare occasions where a handheld version is actually far better than the console edition. It's a decent themed mini-game collection with reasonable replay value and just enough charm to keep younger players busy for an hour or two at a time. The budget price looks about right for the entertainment value.
CCC Staff Contributor