Monday, 21 November 2011

Wii Play: Motion

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Wii Play Motion is the sequel to Wii Play.  Wii Play was initially released as an introduction to the controls for the (then) newly released Nintendo Wii.  With the release of the MotionPlus add-on a few years ago its no wonder that Nintendo released another game that demonstrates and teaches the capabilities of the MotionPlus controller.

The game itself is a collection of 12 mini games and is generally sold bundled with a new Wii MotionPlus controller (the game is available individually - see below).  Up to 4 people can play the games at once, although you'll need extra controllers for some.  A couple of titles are familiar from Wii Play - the Pose Mii Plus and the Teeter Targets and more complex versions of

Cone Zone - This game requires the player to hold the controller so that it points in the air, as if it were an ice cream cone.  The game starts when a scoop of ice cream is place into your cone, initially slowly then increasing in speed.  As the scoops get added you have to control the balance of the cone by moving the WiiMote forwards, backwards and to either side.  As the tower of scoops increases so does the sway of the cone and scoops combined.

Veggie Guardin' - Remember 'Whac-a-mole'?  This game works on a similar idea.  The player uses the WiiMote to hit moles as they try to steal fruit from the baskets at the bottom of the screen.  The MotionPlus comes into its own here requiring precision of the 'hit' in order to 'whac' the moles who, initially, try to steal from three baskets but in later stages increase to five baskets.  This game requires reaction speed and the ability to point the WiiMote in the direction of the mole.

Skip Skimmer - A clever and simple game that is made more interesting than it might have been.  The game requires the player to choose a stone to skim across a lake, then perform a 'stone skimming' action to release the stone.  The player has to hold the B button down whilst holding the controller as horizontal through the skimming action.  Speed of the skimming action is also taken into account and affects the final skim.  Once released, the player watches the stone skim across the lake, counting the bounces.  After the skim there is an option to see an analysis of the skim which offers some good feedback and clues as to how to improve.  This element could also be used as an outcome measure if used in therapy.

Trigger Twist - Similar to Shooting Range in Wii Play, this is a slightly more advanced point and shoot target game.  The MotionPlus allows the targets sometimes be 'off screen' requiring the player to point the WiiMote to the left or right to scroll the screen around (indications are given on screen to prompt the player to do this).  This modification of the game takes it from being fairly static, as it was in Wii Play, to being dynamic with a 360 degree stage.
This feature does make it more difficult and a little confusing to start with but the game can be played without  pointing the WiiMote left/right to scroll the screen - you just won't score the higher points.

Pose Wii Plus - A surprising return of the Pose Mii game in Wii Play.  It wasn't hugely successful as a game previously and whilst this upgrade still requires good pronation and supination as the player rotates the WiiMote, it just isn't very interesting and lacks the ability to motivate the player to have another go.

Jump Park - This is a 2-dimensional platform game and doesn't really hold much potential to be used constructively within therapy.

Teeter Targets - This game could be considered to be a combination of 'Breakout' and 'Pinball'.  The WiiMote is held in a horizontal position and tilted from side to side in order to keep the ball in play and hit all the required points.
This game is quite difficult but would be suitable for use either to encourage bilateral hand co-ordination or dexterity and fine control.

Spooky Search - This is one of the better games on Wii Play Motion.  As a ghost hunter you use your WiiMote as a ghost catching device.  The ghosts are all around you and to catch them you must point your WiiMote in their direction.  When you are pointing the WiiMote in a ghosts direction the WiiMote makes a beeping sound.  By pressing the B button you catch the ghost, then guide your caught ghost (holding the B button) to the ghost trap.  The game also requires the player to flick the WiiMote to encourage the ghosts into the trap and they don't always go in first time!  There's a time limit on the game but its long enough for anyone to get the hang of the controls and enjoy trying to track down the ghosts.

Wind Runner - The Mii character in Win Runner is wearing roller skates on a windy day whilst carrying a brolly.  The player controls the direction of the crazed roller skate wearing Mii by the angle at which the brolly is being held with the WiiMote being the umbrellas hand grip.  Its a fast paced game that requires good reaction speed and an understanding of how the wind will fill the umbrella, if given the chance.  Pointing the WiiMote left and right (at whatever angle is needed for the wind to catch the umbrella) will steer the Mii to the respective direction.  Whilst its reasonably good fun there are other games in this collection that require better control of motor function and dexterity.

Treasure Twirl - In this game the WiiMote becomes a line with a diver on the end of it.  Holding the WiiMote horizontally the player has to roll/twist it away or towards you to let the diver and line down or to pull it up.  Tilting the controller to the left or right steers the line down to the treasure at the bottom of the sea, avoiding fish, rocks and other obstacles that may be in the way. The tilting/steering can be done without the twisting of the WiiMote, although the game is against the clock or more specifically against how much oxygen you have to perform the dive.
This is a good game for getting both hands working together and promoting dexterity and grip combined.

Flutter Fly - For this game the WiiMote becomes a leaf that you have to use as a fan to guide the Mii and balloons through the hoops along the course.  As you turn the WiiMote the leaf also turns correspondingly, allowing the player to control the direction of the fanning and therefore direction of the Mii and balloons.
This game is quite difficult, but for someone who is working to improve their grip strength combined with wrist flexion and extension it may have its place within therapy.  A great deal of perception is required to know where and how hard to fan the balloons in order to direct them successfully through the course.

Star Shuttle - Possibly the most difficult game in this collection and potentially the most boring.  The player controls a shuttle as it docks into the mother ship.  The weightlessness of space means that any slight movement will deviate the course of the ship which then needs to be counteracted by additional control movements.  It requires patience and fine motor control coupled with an understanding or appreciation of the quality and direction of the movement created by the player/WiiMote.

The following is a 3d party youtube review that will demonstrate the games. (10mins long)

Summary of potential usefulness of games within therapy:
Veggie Guardin' - reaction speed, grip, co-ordination, perception of direction, upper limb
Skip Skimmer - upper limb, grip, control
Cone Zone - bilateral hand control, steadiness, perception of required movement

Spooky Search - upper limb, co-ordination using audible and haptic feedback
Treasure Twirl - bilateral hand control and co-ordination, grip, fine control
Pose Wii Plus - pro/supination, reaction to prompts on screen
Trigger Twist - grip, fine motor control, dexterity, reaction speed
Teeter Targets - bilateral hand control, dexterity, reaction speed, planning of movement   

Flutter Fly
Wind Runner
Star Shuttle
Jump Park

The following games could be played using external WiiMote buttons.
Skip Skimmer
Spooky Search
Trigger Twist

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