Released by Namco Bandai, makers of other popular Nintendo games such as “Wii Ski”, on September 9, 2008. “Outdoor Challenge” retails for US $50, and includes the “Active Life Mat” play pad controller that plugs into the top of the Wii game system.
Active Life Outdoor Challenge Overview
Using your personalized “Mii” or a pre-programmed avatar, players go through single or multi-player whole-body physical challenges, including river rafting and log jumping.
Taking Turns: One Player Games with Wii Outdoor Challenge
“Free Play” is designed for players to practice the controls, set new high scores and for those who are playing the game alone.
“Outdoor Adventure” game mode is a series of games in a sequence that must all be passed to achieve the next level. The games available in Free Play are the same as these, just one at a time. This mode can also be accessed by a single player.
Compete or Cooperate: Two Player Games with Wii Outdoor Challenge
“Friend Challenge” is for a pair of competitive friends to race to the finish together. Jumping logs and playing see-saw, these challenges test reflexes and get kids jumping, hopping, stepping, running and giggling as they compete head-to-head against one another.
“Multi-Player” Game Mode is perfect for the less-competitive, this mode also fully engages and involves two players, but it requires them to cooperate, working together as a team to achieve a common goal.
The “Waterfall climb” game is a perfect example of the communication, listening, teamwork, and cooperation that is needed for the multi-player mode. One player acts as the “Climber” and the other player belays (holds the safety rope) for them. The climber has to jump on the Active Life mat, while the player with the Wii remote has to simultaneously “pull” the remote like a rope to lift the other player to a higher level. Completing the challenge in record time requires communication and coordination between the players.
Groups of more than Two Require Patience
Because the entire game revolves around the use of the Outdoor Adventure sensitive floor pad, there is only room for one or two players at any given time. Groups of 3 or more will have to take turns, which is different from many Wii games, which are often scalable for up to four players if there are enough Wii remotes and nunchuck sets available.
Fun for Kids, Adults will find a little less Engaging
With games such as the Wii Fit and the Nerf Blaster and Lego series, the Nintendo game creators generally create “E for Everyone” games that truly engage parents and kids alike. The “Outdoor Challenge” graphics are choppy and cartoony, and the games are fun… once.
This is not the sort of game parents will want to return to time and again. However, the silliness of games like whack-a-mole and the engaging activities will continue to bring youngsters back for more.
Getting used to looking at the floor and the screen or memorizing the floor pad does take some time. Often, little feet miss the controls they are stomping at because they are watching the screen and have drifted off the mat.