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
Back to game info
This is F-Zer... sorry... Wheelspin.
This is F-Zer... sorry... Wheelspin.

This is F-Zer... sorry... Wheelspin.

Something has gone wrong. Wires have been crossed, ideas have been lost in translation, and game design has been swallowed up in miscommunication. Whatever the truth, something has gone horribly wrong. Somewhere along the line, someone, and it may not even have been games legend and Wheelspin creator Archer Maclean, thought this was a good game. No, not even good - playable. Someone thought Wheelspin was playable enough to justify being published. That someone was Bethesda, the company behind Fallout 3.

Wheelspin is a sci-fi arcade racer for the Wii. In it, you drive around loopy tracks at fast speeds in futuristic cars, hitting boosts when you can and unlocking new tracks on a pyramid grid. It is awful. Why?

There are many reasons, but chief among them is the car handling. Wheelspin's various vehicles handle abominably. Twitchy Wii Remote handling will send you careering off of the track and into the nothingness that surrounds it, while the many holes in the track designs are sometimes nigh-on impossible to avoid due to your vehicle's unwillingness to turn properly.

Practice, in this case, does not make perfect. You do get better as you play, partly due to learning track designs and understanding what movements will cause your car to spiral out of control, but it's unlikely that you'll reach a point at which the handling suddenly becomes enjoyable. It's so frustrating, so annoying, so tear your hair out maddening, that it makes you want to knock yourself out with the Wii Remote, just to put yourself out of your misery.

When games go bad

When games go bad

I can only imagine it was a deliberate design decision. I can only imagine Archer Maclean meant for the game to play this way, as if repeatedly wiping out would somehow be fun for players. This must have been the miscommunication: Wheelpsin seems to sincerely suggest that you not only accept death all of the bloody time, but enjoy it. Maybe some will. Maybe some quite fancy the idea of playing a punishing futuristic arcade racer on Wii. But they're masochists who have no idea what a good racing game is.

Wheelspin promised eight-player split screen racing, and it does indeed deliver on that front, but some poor control decisions let the entire experience down. When the Wii Remote is used, it is turned on its side. Fine, you think. I'll use the d-pad to steer and the A button to accelerate. Oh no. Not in Wheelspin. In Wheelspin, you have to use the motion controls to steer. Twisting the Remote left and right turns, and the 2 button accelerates. There is no option to change this control set up.

New stuff to check out


To add your comment, please login or register

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
View Full Site