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Lumberjack mini-games? Time to break out your inner Paul Bunyan.

Nintendo Wii Review: Go Play Lumberjacks

This may be hard to believe, but there's now another title for the Nintendo Wii which is a series of mini-games. This time out they are, oddly enough, lumberjack themed games and are part of the ever-growing Go Play line of games from Majesco Entertainment (the most recent of which is Go Play City Sports).

In Go Play Lumberjacks, players take control of any one of a number of lumberjacks – four are available at the start and many more can be unlocked down the line – and compete against up to three other people/computer characters. Only a small number of possible events are available at the beginning, with many more available down the line.

The events range from the average-seeming lumberjack duties to the downright dangerous sounding ones, but manage to be fun no matter the perceived danger or reality level involved. The most basic of the events, things like climbing poles and sawing wood, feature easy-to-master, for all age level basic Wii remote skills. In order to complete the activity all one has to do is wildly wave the Wii remote up and down or left to right (in the case of the climbing, water balloons also have to be dodged). "Axe Throwing" requires players to point the remote at the screen and use a crosshair to focus on targets, which axes can be tossed at with the "B" button. Harder tasks, like "Coin Grab" which requires coin collecting on logs on a river, require more traditional gameplay sorts of button pushing.

Go Play Lumberjacks also features Wii Balance Board support for some – but not all – of the events. At times the Balance Board makes the mini-games easier (as with the "Limb Cut"), and at times far, far more difficult (as with the water-based "Coin Grab"). The Balance Board support is a nice addition to the game, but it is somewhat disconcerting that the difficulty level in comparison with Wii remote use varies so wildly.

The game sports simple, bright, and cheery graphics, and each character most definitely has a distinct and different personality. Older players will quickly tire of the fact that characters appear to only have a single introduction, happy reaction, and sad one – they do become repetitive quite quickly. Parents may also be a little distressed that the girl character initially available, Jill, is described as a "chainsaw-toting beauty" and acts in a unquestionably sexualized manner. As the game is clearly geared towards younger players, the message getting sent with Jill is an odd one.

With a number of different events with varying difficulties, unlockable characters, and unlockable events, Go Play Lumberjacks does have enough going on it to make it an enjoyable time for mini-game fans. The characters tend to be creative and fun, and each handle themselves in a differing fashion which certainly makes one want to unlock them all. No, if you're a hardcore gamer you probably won't enjoy this title, but your child just might love it.

 

Go Play Lumberjacks is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for comic mischief.

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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