While the Wii has plenty of mini-game collections, developers are nonetheless trying to up the ante on the latest version, and Help Wanted is no different. The angle on this one: A whopping 50 different minigames, obviously themed around jobs, that let the player try their hand at everything from CEO, to cook, to clown.
Here are some of the features available for Help Wanted on Wii:
• Multiple difficulty levels which change up gameplay elements.
• Head to head multiplayer on 15 jobs
• Shop with the money you earn. Buy fun and crazy things after you get off of work and show them off in your collector’s room when you’re done!
• Buy special goods that will help you save the planet or delay it’s extinction from a meteor
• 50 DIFFERENT JOBS INSIDE:
The demo we played had about a half dozen or so of the jobs mini-games, giving us a small taste of what to expect from the final build. It didn’t tie in to any storyline, so the features item above about saving the planet was not present in the demo. You also racked up money in the demo, but there was no shop to spend the money on, so I can’t give any more details on whether any of the items will be worthwhile.
What I can do, however, is give you my impressions on some of the games available in the demo of Help Wanted:
-Grill Cook: This game involves you turning over kabobs on a grill by moving the cursor and selecting the food, then turning it over by twisting the Wii remote. There is an indicator that pops up telling you when a piece of meat is ready to be turned over, and if you don’t turn it over in time, the food burns. If the food burns a few times, the game ends.
-Tailor: You use the Wii remote to guide the needle on the sewing machine through a narrow path in the shape of whatever item you’re stitching. You can slow down the machine, which will net you less points, or speed it up and gain more points before time expires, but the faster you go, the more likely you are to spill outside of the pattern range. Outside of the narrow range, you won’t get any points at all.
-Bodybuilder: Perform a gesture at the right time to strike a pose. This game was a bit confusing to understand, and the least fun minigame in the collection. I was also confused by the character models they used. Pretty crazy looking and out of context with the rest of the games.
-Haunted House Crew: You have 4 different doors to jump out of to scare the clients, and you gain extra money for using the correct costume for each door.
-Farmer: Use a gesture on the Wii remote at the right time to pull out your crops. There is a spinning indicator and you have to time your gesture at the right time to pull the crop out.
-Stuntperson: Hold the Wii remote sideways and drive down a track littered with junked cars and then take off at a ramp on the end of the track to earn money. The better you drive, the more speed you gain, and the longer the jump at the end, the more money you earn.
-Fisher: Guide your boat along the water and cast your net on schools of fish (which you identify through shadows on the water’s surface) to earn money based on how many you catch.
-Dairy Farmer: Perform a gesture in tune with an on-screen indicator to keep the cow happy while you milk it. If you mess up the timing, the cow will become angry and shake you off, killing valuable time. The more milk you extract, the more money you earn.
As you can probably tell, these games are all extremely simplistic. The graphics are equally simple, though the demo did display in 16:9. The games I played in the demo were fun in short bursts, although bodybuilder simply wasn’t fun and the stuntperson mini-game was difficult to control. I imagine that the rest of the jobs in the final game will follow this same formula of simple, short mini-games. In this game, cash serves as your score, so if you play games for a high score, then that will be your barometer.
I do hope that some of the games in the final retail version have more meat to them. The games are all over very quickly, so even if there are 50 of them, there won’t be much content to keep gamers enthralled unless the storyline or the item shop adds a layer of complexity. The games that were the most fun, like the Haunted House one and the dairy farmer, involved both timing and a hook besides just performing simple gestures, but even those games could’ve used another level of control. It is quite possible, however, that Hudson wants to keep the gameplay as simple as possible to appeal to the most casual of gamers. We’ll see just how much meat the rest of the game contains when the full version arrives later this summer. Help Wanted is rated E for Everyone.