|System: Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Coyote||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Majesco||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 8, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Though you'll probably try all the games available in an area more than once, this system discourages revisiting tougher games. It's easier to find the least irritating moneymaker and stick with it. Once you do have plenty of tickets, they can be spent on prizes in the area of the park you won them, but they don't carry over when transitioning to another zone. Most prizes are worthless; they're simply lame items you can access in one of the menu screens that have no function or value. Buying all the prizes in an area does open the single "ride" in that section of the park, and special passes can be bought to move to new areas.
Building up enough tickets to progress doesn't take very long, but it seems unnecessarily frustrating. Compounding this problem is the fact the game doesn't indicate how many tickets you've won each time you complete a challenge. This makes it harder to track your winnings. Another frequent issue is you can't tell whether a game costs tickets to play or how to play it until you select the particular game and wait for a sub-menu to load (load times?!!). Once it does load, you're faced with scrolling through irreverent text delivered by any number of crazily dressed barkers.
Some mini-games control better than others. Overall, the range of different controls schemes incorporated into the collection - using the Wii Remote on its own and occasionally with the Nunchuk - is good. Even without reading the instructions menu for each game, it's not difficult to grasp what must be done. Most of the annoyances in this area come when the controls cause your limbs to ache painfully from uncomfortable repetitive motion or are simply poorly implemented.
The presentation also has its flaws. Instead of free-roaming and walking up to each mini-game booth in any given area, you're plopped statically in the middle of them. All you can do is pan your view left or right to highlight a game. When pointing at a booth, the game's name pops up, but no other information is given - you'll have to plod through the slow-loading sub-menu for that. Wonder World does have some visually interesting elements - like the way each game is playfully doctored-up in accordance with the different themes - but the graphics are not particularly impressive.
Wonder World falls well short of delivering on the fun-filled amusement it promises. Almost every aspect of the game, from premise to execution, is highly derivative and substantially lacking. The for-the-whole-family appeal is certainly present, but your money is better spent taking the gang out to experience the real thing.
CCC Staff Contributor