Wheelspin Review for Wii

On: Wii

A high-energy, high-impact racing game spread across a wide range of inter-planetary tracks.

Review Verdict Read Review
4Out of 10
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The wheels have come off
The wheels have come off

The wheels have come off

To achieve eight-player split screen, another player is able to race using only the Nunchuck, but driving with the Nunchuck is even worse than with the Remote. To accelerate you point it down, to brake you point it up, and to steer you twist left and right. It's almost impossible to turn, though, which you think would be a godsend given how easy it is to bite the dust. It is not.

Why can I not use the d-pad or the Nunchuck analogue stick for steering? It seems a ridiculous decision, one that severely hampers the game's playability. At least you can use the GameCube controller or the Classic Controller, and their respective analogue sticks or d-pads, although surely only a tiny fraction of the Wii's userbase own such a controller. I found the d-pad controls to be too sluggish to be of any real use, but the analogue stick method proved to be far preferable to motion control. It's still a ridiculously twitchy experience, but with a proper controller in your hands you can at least make a decent stab at taking the best racing line.

The graphics are astonishingly bad. The game barely looks as good as F-Zero X on the N64. The cars look like little toys, and the tracks look like Scalextric. They wind and loop and veer, and yet it feels as if there's absolutely nothing going on. The occasional boost pad adds colour, but, beyond that, there's nothing here that couldn't have been done on a home console from the Nineties. It's a dog's dinner of a game: old, aged, run down, embarrassing.

In the run up to the game's release, Maclean trumpeted the 60 frames per second gameplay. In solo mode, the game does indeed run smoothly. But in multiplayer the game noticeably slows down - another disappointment.

And the music - oh the music. The techno soundtrack is so mind numbingly repetitive that it makes you pine for the days of 8-bit beeps and boops. If you were to bang your head against a wall 60 times a minute, it would make a more pleasing noise than the one Wheelspin invades your ears with.

The multiplayer's okay. The rest of the game isn't.

The multiplayer's okay. The rest of the game isn't.

Wheelspin's only redeeming feature is the multiplayer battle mode. In it, various power ups grant you rockets and shields and the like, which you use to cause as much damage to opposing players as possible within a set time limit. The only reason it's remotely playable is because the square tracks are wrapped in walls that prevent you from flying off into oblivion, so you at least get a decent amount of uninterrupted driving.

Overall, though, Wheelspin is scarily close to being a complete failure. There's so little here of worth that someone must have known the project would end in disaster. It's a game that comes across as an impressive university project rather than a retail released Wii game, failing to impress in all the areas that really matter. It's not the worst game ever made, but it's still hard to believe it made it into the white box sat on my desk.

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User Comments

Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ Stegosaurus-Guy-II

Or "what were they thinking?" game of the year.
Posted 15:53 on 03 December 2009
Stegosaurus-Guy-II's Avatar


This has a good chance of winning Wii Game of the Year.
Posted 15:49 on 03 December 2009
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ IndoorHeroes

You skateboard? Me TOO!
Posted 15:42 on 03 December 2009


Oh. Dear.
Posted 15:42 on 03 December 2009
IndoorHeroes's Avatar


I played Tony Hawk ride this morning and I'd just like to say that Wheelspin is infinitely more enjoyable. And thats coming from somebody who can skateboard (more or less). Wheelspin is by far the lesser of the two evils in my opinion.
Posted 15:32 on 03 December 2009


You always knew that this game would be a complete pile of turd when the 1st batch of screen came out.
Posted 09:44 on 03 December 2009
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ mydeaddog

Is that the "My First Wank" game you reviewed?
Posted 16:19 on 02 December 2009
mydeaddog's Avatar


Yeah, Sexy Poker is definitely worse.
Posted 16:15 on 02 December 2009
bencrosaby's Avatar


I'm going to download this purely for a laugh. Wish me luck.
Posted 16:12 on 02 December 2009
Wido's Avatar


Before I clicked onto the main review itself and read the review. MOT failed, totally summed this up :laugh:
Posted 15:26 on 02 December 2009
thpcplayer's Avatar

thpcplayer@ IndoorHeroes

ahh but i think this one recieves that inevitable honour

Posted 15:17 on 02 December 2009
IndoorHeroes's Avatar


Maybe it could have been but I believe Sexy Poker probably takes that honour... http://www.videogamer.com/wii/sexy_poker/review.html
Posted 14:25 on 02 December 2009
thpcplayer's Avatar


worst game of the yearr?
Posted 13:25 on 02 December 2009

Game Stats

Out of 10
  • Battle mode is playable
  • Crap music
  • Terrible graphics
  • Awful handling
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 27/11/2009
Platform: Wii
Developer: Awesome Play
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: Racing
No. Players: 1-8
Rating: PEGI 7+
Site Rank: 2,057 4
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