Archived Q&A and Reviews



Wii in a very small house

Jan 2009

Hi - I know most families who have a Wii are pretty wild about it. Does anyone know how much space is needed in front of the TV screen in order to be able to use a Wii? If the room is quite small and there's not much footage in front of the TV, is it even possible to use? Is there a minimum space you need? They're pretty expensive and we're having a hard time determining if the cost will be worth it, given our tiny abode. Thanks for any advice ~ Space-challenged, but excited about Wii

We recently got a wii and I was surprised how little room it actually takes up. As long as you can be 3 feet away from the TV you have enough room. Most of the activities require mostly arm movements, so you need an arms reach on both sides. I only know about the basic games and wii fit. Wii convert

Our sofa is about 5 1/2 ft from the TV, and we have had no trouble using the Wii. When we are playing golf or bowling or doing Wii Fit, we are usually standing 3 ft from the TV and it works fine. My young daughter tends to get too close to the TV when she gets excited and the sensor can't pick up the signal-- say, inside of 2 ft from the TV.

For the sports games you need a certain amount of space to do the movement (swing the ''golf club'', swing the ''baseball bat'', throw the ''bowling ball''). You could probably do it with a bit less space than we have, but not much. Try standing in your living room and miming those actions. If you whack the TV or the person sitting next to you on the sofa, you don't have enough room. Wii fan

You can definitely have fun with the Wii in a small space. Our Wii is in a small room with about 4-5 feet clearance from the TV. As long as you have arm's length clearance most games can be played just fine. Even though most of the games are active, they don't require a lot of space. (It may become an issue if players are especially...enthusiastic.) FYI I am a person who was against game consoles, but my son bought this when he was a junior in high school with his own savings. It's been great! Most games are family friendly (we love Cooking Mama) and even the 80 year old grandparents enjoy playing. Have fun! Pro Wii

Wii from in-laws for kids 2,4,6?

Dec 2008

I have 3 boys, ages 2,4 and 6. My mother-in-law wants to purchase a Wii for us for the holidays. I am concerned we will all get ''addicted'' to it and it will be just more time in front of the tv. Anyone there have one that has one that wants to weigh in? My husband is for it. Madeleine

Go ahead and let them have it. I'm usually anti-screen time, but...Yes, it will mean more time in front of the TV, but my kids actually interact and cooperate with each other when they play. I have 3 kids too, and they have learned to take turns and negotiate what games to play, etc. AND, I actually have fun playing Wii with them on occasion, which I never do wtih the other video games. Have fun!

We love our Wii, and it actually takes the place of TV time for us. We're up, we're interacting, we're moving - it's totally different from sitting and zoning out to the TV. I'd go for it, and look for games that are interactive and social to play. Wii love it

No! Do not get it- your boys are too young and boys become addicted to these electronic games. Why do you want your boys to zone out in front of a game instead of playing outside and doing other creative activities. And do you want to spend your time setting limits and playing ref as to turn taking? The games are not even that fun. If the Grandparents really want to get them something electronic how about any of the Leap products. A non gaming mom

we recently purchased a wii for our son, who is already a pretty avid gamer, but with the idea that this would be for the whole family. i am not familiar with video games, never have been, but we all really love the wii. it's fun and there really are games that we play together. we especially love the wii fit, and my husband and son have started doing yoga and stretching together. personally i think it's a great way to spend some time indoors, especially now that winter is upon us. and i view it as a more ''controlled'' video access than just watching t.v. life is short, just have fun! anon

We love our Wii. The whole family plays with it, including me and my husband. Nintendo has the best selection of nonviolent and creative games. Also, when it comes in the house, YOU set the rules around using it before it is ever plugged in. You can use guidelines such as the number of hours per week allowed, whether it can be used at all on weekdays, or maybe only when all homework and chores are done. I know people who keep a chart and their kids earn screen time minutes (for tv, computer, and video games). If the kids fight over it or get addicted, then you unplug it and put it away until they earn it back. Just treat it like any other privilege in your domain. It won't be a problem unless you let it be

We were in the exact same situation and decided no Wii. They are too young and everyone we know who has one spends WAY too much time in front of it. We are saving the idea for a future reward. mom of young boys

I know it's late but I wanted to chime in. One of the responders in the last post on this said not to get the Wii because ''boys become addicted.'' That is a very generalized statement and it is false. We have had the Wii for over a year and a half and my son, who is now six, is no where near addicted to this game. Many of his friends have the console as well and it is not a problem in any of these homes (majority being boys). Just because kids are given access to something doesn't mean it becomes their lives or a problem. It comes down to personalities of child(ren) and parents. And the expectations that are set. The fact is, Wii is a game. Besides, the Wii really is fun and what everyone else was saying about being up and interacting is true. And I highly recommend the Wii Star Wars Lego game. It is well worth the price. As far as the game goes, it has 160 worlds to unlock, your character never dies, it just breaks apart and then comes back together again. Light sabers and spaceship flying...!! a Wii-lovin' Mom!

I know, the Holidays are over and the decision to purchase or to NOT purchase a wii for your kids has probably already been made. However, my family received a wii console and games from my in-laws this Christmas and my two boys (2 and 5 years) love it! Their favorite games by far are MarioKart and Bowling. The first days they played a few hours a day (which was okay because we were staying at the in-laws and it was raining anyway). The excitement was great and we all enjoyed having fun together. It's much more than just sitting in front of the TV with no interaction or movement. However, after a few days, the kids (while still enjoyed playing!) reduced the time they spent with the wii games and naturally moved on to other toys and forms of entertainment. My boys are still young and easy to distract with other things but parents will always have to have the final decision about how much time to spend on any type of electronic device, be it the TV, computer, cell phone etc. What I am trying to say is: Get the wii, have fun but -if this doesn't happen by itself - limit the time and encourage outside play. Got Wii from Santa

Wii games for adults and children?

November 2008

My husbands parents have purchased a Nintendo Wii console for our family as a Christmas gift. We will be visiting them end of the year and hope to enjoy some entertainment for the entire family. Since I am new to the world of this kind of entertainment system and games ... what are your experiences with it? Can you recommend certain games for adults (including seniors) that are fun? I was thinking maybe sports games or some adventure games ... no shooting or war-based games please! What about games for children? My two sons are almost 3 and 6 and I am sure they want to try out Wii when they see the family playing with it. Are there simple-structured games - even for the younger one ... I saw Disney ones or car-racing and some pet-related games... any recommendations for that age group? Wii game beginner

The sports games that come with the Wii are great for families. My daughter is 4 and loves bowling especially. The controls are pretty easy, even for her. She also likes tennis and golf, but the subtleties of figuring out how hard to hit the golf ball are lost on her.

We also have Wii Play (which I think my husband said comes as a package with an extra controller). It has a selection of games. None has really captured my daughters interest. It includes fishing, target shooting (not what you wanted), cow racing, an old fashioned arcade-type game with tanks shooting at each other (also not what you wanted), a ''find the two that match'' type game, a game where you manipulate a shape to fit in a hole, etc. They're all designed to help you master the controller.

I don't really recommend the driving games for young kids. We have the Cars (based on the movie) game, and even us grown-ups had a lot of trouble steering. Really frustrating for a 4-year old. Wii Fan

My son, who is 5, loves to play Mario Kart, which comes with a steering wheel. Up to 4 people can play at one time, but you need 4 remotes for that many people. You don't necessarily need 4 steering wheels, but the kids love them. My son also likes the Cars movie/game one, which allows him to race and to roam around the town in his car. You can enter ''cheats'' to make it easier for the little ones to play all the games, see all the movie clips, and select any car in any color. The game set that comes with the console contains great games for everyone: bowling, baseball, tennis, and golf (but this is hard for little ones). You can buy add ons for the remotes to make each of these games fun (a baseball bat, a tennis racket, a golf club, etc.) So, technically, you don't need to get any new games, if you don't want to shell out an extra $50. (Costco has many great games and extras for much less than many other stores.) My favorite add on, which is expensive ($80+), bu! t worth it is the Wii Fit platform. It comes with great games and activities for everyone: yoga, stretch and strength exercises, balance games, soccer, skiing, ski jumping, tightrope walking, bubbles on a river game (my favorite), meditation (which is hilarious). The Wii fit definitely engages everyone and it is fun to watch people playing it. Wii momma

Rayman Raving Rabbids is probably the most entertaining game for adults and kids I have played. Basically each game is a series of simple and short mini-games, some require more hand-eye coordination than others but all are fun, not super-hard to master and packed with humor that translates across generations. Both my mom (senior) and my kid (5) have enjoyed playing, and needless to say I do too. They just came out with RRR3 which is called TV Party. Aside from RRR I recommend all the Super Mario Brothers games. Also, Wii Tennis (comes with the console as part of Wii Sports) is pretty fun. Wii mom