Nintendo have recently started doing their equivalent to xbox live arcade or playstation network which they have titled wii ware. They have of course been doing virtual console for ages or as I like to think of it selling our otherwise worthless back catalogue to people who may already own it. The order of the day is small original games for not much money distributed over the network digital style as is the fashion these days.
So far there are only a few titles but it is early days. Two that caught my eye are Lost Winds and My Life as a King.
Lost Winds is a puzzle action game from british developer frontier developments (the company founded by David Braben the guy who did elite). It is based around a sort of fantasy world with various elemental spirits. It's a sort of 2d side scroller where you control a little kid toku moving left and right and picking up things and assisting him is the wind spirit Enril who is basically the wiimote pointer. Enril can control the wind direction creating light breeze just by moving about the screen or stronger gusts by gesturing a line in the desired direction while holding A. This basically allows Toku to jump or cross small gaps, it also allows you to gust fire or water and move objects or attack enemies.
The game is simply gorgeous probably the best looking game on the Wii, simple but beautiful graphics with colourful trees and plants (All of which sway convincingly in the breeze or move more fiercely in a gust) and the simple mechanic is fun to use with a variety of different powers that you acquire over the course of the game. If you have a Wii it is definitely worth picking this up it it looks fantastic and is a solid little puzzler which makes really good and intuitive use of the wiimote controls with a few hours of quality entertainment.
My Life as a King is an odd game from Square Enix (the people behind Final Fantasy) rather than an emo RPG as is their style it is a sort of city building sim game. You play the little king (son of the old king who died) and you have lead your people to their promised land after some war or something. On arriving at this empty vacant castle with a large crystal in the centre some disembodied voice welcomes you and grants you the power of "Arciteckt" or some other hashed spelling of architect basically it means you can summon buildings out of the ground on certain areas in the town. To do this you need resources which you get by adventuring. But you don't tool up with gunblades and materia and go kick some ass with ludicrous four hour unskipable summons animations, you hire adventurers to do the job for you.
You can hire more adventurers who need to be paid (you raise money with a sort of tax) and they will then be available to head out into the wild to slaughter monsters and bring back stuff that allows you to build up your town. The adventures have a sort of RPG element where each one has their own skills and ex and can level and be given new equipment but you never control them directly. You can assign them specific tasks via a royal command (the game has another word for it I forget) where you put up some cash and assign them to do something specific like kill the boss of a dungeon explore the area or train up. The game has a play period of a game day during which all your adventurers go out and your villagers do their stuff you can then talk to your advisor's or follow around villagers and see what they get upto or if you have the resources build stuff. It is all a sort of keeping people happy set up various people need various things to be happy and you then build certain types of building to make them stay and produce more tax. You only know a few types of buildings initially and then you can gain more by interrogating various characters who "remember" the plans of a buildings the logic being you can summon buildings out of nothing but you can only do ones you remember seeing and if you don't know it you need someone else to give you a hint.
It's all done in a sort of anime Final Fantasy: crystal chronicles style of graphics, and the cast of advisors are odd we have a woman called chime who can teleport to you if you ring a bell (by waggling the wiimote zack and wiki style) and then help you build things. There is also a walking suit of armour (that may or may not contain a person) who is a military person, and finally there is a surly penguin who is in intelligence ... obviously.
It's an odd style to it but it is intriguing to play and may well pan out further as with most of these small games there is scope for future expansions. The Wii additions here seem a little superfluous but it seems interesting none the less.
All in all it is an interesting start to this new set of stuff for the wii with some interesting and innovative titles there to enjoy.