Top critical review
Rootin' Tootin' Shootin'
on 2 October 2011
Toy Story Mania is a target shooting game for the Wii console. It is based on an attraction at Disneyworld, where riders wear 3d glasses and have to play a succession of target based games. The makers of this game have used the original games from the ride and added a few more to create a fun family game for 4 players. The game also comes with 2 pairs of 3D glasses (the green and red versions), so that you can play certain games in 3D.
The game incorporates the Wii remote for targetting and shooting. No nunchuk is needed for these games. It is very simple to get started, and the game starts with a cute Toy Story animation of all the characters preparing the game for you. Unfortunately, when you first play, most of the games are locked, and to unlock levels you either need to acheive a set amount of goals in story mode, or win tickets which you can redeem for games in free play mode.
When you first play, you can only play story mode, a set of games that features games from each genre: Western, Space, Animal, Army and Tea Party. You need to acheive a set amount of objectives to access the next level. A typical objective would be "shoot 5 ducks" or "smash 5 plates". If you acheive all of the objectives, the game is unlocked in free play. Up to 4 players can play the games, but only 2 can play a game at any one time. Most of the games are shooting games and the controls are very simple, just point the Wii remote at the screen and press the A button to shoot.
There are also some Carnival style games thrown in too, such as bowling and ringing the bell with the hammer. They are all pretty easy to play, and most kids 3 and up would have no trouble playing at all. The only one that I think is hard is the Space Pinball, which has more complex controls than most of the games. My youngest is 5 and he beat me on a lot of the games! When you have completed all the games in Story Mode, you unlock themed tents which contain games within one particular genre. Any games you have unlocked will apper in free play mode, where you can play a single game or pick several games to play in sequence.
If you do well on a game you will win tickets, which can be redeemed for prizes. You can use your tickets to buy games you haven't unlocked, or to buy "stickers" which you can use to make a scene in your virtual sticker book.
As I have mentioned, the game has a 3D element, and certain levels can be played in 3D. I think this is designed to mimic the original ride at Disney, but to be honest, the 3D on here isn't great, and the red and green glasses made my eyes go a bit funny. Still, it is a good novelty feature.
I like the fact that the game is so easy to play and puts everyone on a level playing field (unless you are a pro marksman!), most people will master the game with no problems at all, and it is a really fun party game. I bought the game for the kids and the little one, who is 5 really loves it, as he adores the characters, music and bright colours. My daughter is not so keen, and she played it for about 15 minutes initially, but got bored quickly. The repetitive nature of some levels is the only downside to the game. My oldest son, who is 10, likes the game, but dislikes losing, so will skulk off if he can't beat me, so I think this is more of a game for little Wii fans.