How long are the world's longest fingernails? How tall is the world's tallest building? How many seconds does it take the world's fastest balloon popper to pop 50 balloons, and just how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
The world may never know the answer to some of life's most pressing questions, but most of those most off-the-wall bits of trivial trivia have long been found published in the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records, an annually updated tome of knowledge chronicling the pinnacles of both human achievement, and human oddity. And now Warner Bros. Interactive and TT Games, known to many by their involvement in such past projects as LEGO Batman: The Video Game
, have teamed again to append that same subtitle to a new interactive adaptation of the best-selling book franchise -- it's Guinness World Records: The Video Game
And it's a mini-game collection. Really, that's what you should have expected from a design built exclusively for Nintendo's DS and Wii, the current kings of all games mini. You jump into the title by first customizing a personal avatar, then use that avatar to walk around a cartoony re-creation of the earth appointed with twelve recognizable landmarks, like the Statue of Liberty in New York and Ayers Rock in Australia. Each landmark, then, serves as the launching spot for three mini-game designs.
They're all over the map. Some are based on fairly "serious" records like world's tallest skyscraper, while others exploit the appeal of the truly odd -- like world's most tattooed man. Each mini-game is then built around the idea of beating the current world record. Meaning you're going to have to build a new tallest skyscraper from the ground up, or tattoo some poor sap until he's covered in ink head-to-toe.
These wildly varying pieces of subject matter all take the form of significantly different mini-games in terms of mechanics, too, making Guinness World Records a more approachable collection of small game designs than other fare Nintendo fans have seen over the past few years. You're not getting just 36 "point and click as fast as you can" games here.
The skyscraper game, for example, plays out like a puzzler -- you're given a set of Tetris-like block shapes and must assemble them into a perfect square for each floor of your structure to be completed. The tattoo game involves both rapidly "painting" areas on the screen, but also color recognition -- you have to ink your client with the right shades, or else they won't be too happy with your artistry on their skin.
Most all of the game designs are represented the same way in both the DS and Wii versions of the game, with the obvious control alterations -- the DS is held book-style and relies heavily on touch screen input with your stylus, while the Wii Remote's pointer functionality serves the same purpose for the console edition. Poor control is a common complaint leveled against mini-game compilations, but that's never a concern here. Both the DS and Wii versions of each game control intuitively.
Many of the included designs will only be intriguing enough to hold your interest for long enough to make one or two attempts at beating the in-game "world record" for them, but there are a handful of addictive gems to be found here that are both fun and replayable enough that they could have been made into standalone WiiWare titles, given a bit more focus and depth -- the first record you're likely to try to break is for "World's Highest Video Game Score" and its associated mini-game, a spaceship shooter reminiscent of Asteroids or Geometry Wars
, is absolutely excellent.
Finally, the Guinness game justifies its placement in the Party genre by allowing up to four players to all go head-to-head against one another in each of the different mini-games. Though it's not as cohesive an experience as something like Mario Party
or the recently-released Monopoly
, it's still nice to be able to put up your best score against your buddies and earn bragging rights for beating their personal records. Nintendo's Wi-Fi Connection allows for multiplayer sessions to happen with distant opponents too, in both the DS and Wii editions.
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