Monday, December 03, 2007

My Word Coach Review

This game - heck, this series, has the potential to be the next Brain Age for the Wii.

If only it wasn't so stupid about it.

Here's the idea:  a vocabulary/spelling game that has multiplayer.  Every day, you play by "writing" the missing letters, or selecting which word matches a certain definition.  Over time, you unlock more games, and learn more words to increase your vocabulary.

This is a great idea.  I was into this concept for all of - 15 minutes.

And then I was done playing.

PROBLEM #1:  The interface is the worst of those who would accuse the Wii of being purely waggle.  In order to select your options, you tilt the Wiimote right or left.  Even worst, tilting the Wiimote right moves the options/letters left, and vice versa.  So I think "OK, I want to select this item", I tilt the remote - and I'm punished because the game says "No, no - you must tilt *left* to go *right*".

But - why the hell can't I point at the option?  I know the developers can use the Wiimote as a pointer, because that's how you play all of the multiplayer games.  So why not do the same thing in the single player games and in selecting options?  Point - and click. 

Say it with me.  "Point, and click."

So, major loser points for a stupid interface that is not fun.

PROBLEM #2:  Like Brain Age, you set up a profile.  One of the fun things about Brian Age is seeing at a glance how you compare to the other players.  I put myself on, My Lovely Wife put in hers, and then my daughter.  I thought  this would be great.  I could compete with my wife (always fun, because then we have great "I crushed you sex" later), and I could see how my daughter is progressing with her vocabulary.

Only - you can't.  I'd have to go into my daughter's profile.  Why not a "Compare Stats" on the main screen so you can see "words recognized/words learned/etc".  And even if you wanted to know how well you're doing, you only get a little chart that shows a graph showing how many you got right.

So much potential.  Developers and publishers whine about how nobody can compete with Nintendo on Nintendo products.  Well, I'm sorry - I don't make games, and I could tell after 5 minutes of play why this game had so many user interface issues that I assumed it had to be made by Microsoft.

Ooo, harsh, I know.

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