Critter Round-Up [WiiWare]
Name: Critter Round-Up
Critter Round-Up actually sounded interesting the first time I heard about it. Separating animals with remote actions and drawing circles around certain groups of critters sounded like it had potential in terms of being a good puzzle game. This wasn't the case, as I soon found out, and any of my original enthusiasm was soon destroyed. The controller is turned sideways for WiiWare’s first venture into the realm of farming, and shakes of the remote destroy fences that were already built. Your character, who has an strange resemblance to Stuart Smalley, has to fence similar animal types together, while keeping other types apart. That is where the gameplay ends, that is all there is. Touching an animal, no matter how docile, knocks you down and takes away a life. Later in the game more elements are introduced, such as aggressive critters and ones that can jump over fences, both aspects that serve as frustrations in an already annoying game.
The graphics are cell-shaded and since it is a downloadable title, I shouldn’t complain, but there are times that some of the animals look so similar it is easy to confuse them. From time to time I found myself having to stare at the high-definition TV closely to see whether or not the critter in question was a deer or a horse, and oftentimes I guessed wrong. I’d love to say that the graphics weren’t important, but they actually managed to get in the way of the simple gameplay. The sad fact is that the game just isn’t very fun, and it seems lazy on the part of the developers that the product they released used so few of the Wii’s features to make their game.
I don’t want to say that Critter Round-Up is the worst game on the Wii because it isn’t, there are easily dozens of games on the system that are far worse. Hell, there are a few dozen games on the system that are actually unplayable, and while Critter Round-Up comes close to that level it is still a functioning game. Compared to other WiiWare games, however, it is a different story, and the game’s uninteresting, uninspired gameplay and mediocre presentation definitely places it in the "not worth trying" category.