Last weekend we got a copy of the game WiiMusic and tried it out. Although I knew that the Wii-whatever series of games was developed more for entry-level gamers, I was excited to see how musical the game really was. Although I was slightly disappointed with the use of the controls, quality of MIDI music and song selection, I was pleasantly surprised with the educational components of the game which I’ll describe in more detail for this review.
The range of instruments is unique and more educational than in other musical video games. Last week my son saw a classical string quartet and now thinks the cello is cool. Not only are there violins, cellos, steel drums, bagpipes and xylophones, there are “instruments” like the NES controller, barking dog suit, and other futuristic-sounding things.
One of the mini-games, called Pitch Perfect, is a way for kids to understand some basic musical relationships. Concepts like higher and lower tones, harmonies, and major/minor sounds are introduced through the use of Mii characters. I was actually caught off guard by this challenge at first and was pleased to have to think about what notes sounded better together. I was even motivated to try harder and get a good score!
Overall, though, the game was a disappointment for me, and my son didn’t stick with it too long either. I think that any kid who hasn’t been exposed to the RockBand or GuitarHero games will have fun with this as a musical game, especially younger children who would also enjoy shaking rattles and pushing buttons on a bouncy exersaucer.