Top 10 Fun Wii Games That Look Like Shovelware

Top 10 Fun Wii Games That Look Like Shovelware

You need a shovel to dig up treasure

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Wii on

Nintendo's Wii has a fantastic library of games. Unfortunately, it also introduced many gamers to the concept of shovelware: bad games created for a quick buck. However, there are many good games that look like they fit this description so let's start the countdown.

10 City Builder

I love puzzle games in the style of Pipe Dream. Therefore, when I took a chance and picked up a copy of City Builder, I was delighted to see that it puts classic path-making Pipe Dream gameplay into a SimCity-looking experience. Dropping down roads as fast as you can to make the population of your future city grow as much as possible makes for one addictive formula.

9 MiniCopter: Adventure Flight

Another specific genre that I have a soft spot for is toy helicopter simulators. Many similar games are just plain boring, but MiniCopter somehow manages to make accomplishing each stage's goals a rewarding endeavor.

MiniCopter: Adventure Flight screenshot
What good is flying a toy helicopter in a playground when there are no kids to annoy?

8 Merv Griffin's Crosswords

Back in 2007, I remember watching the sadly short-lived Merv Griffin's Crosswords on TV every day. I loved the simple premise of filling out a crossword in a game show format. When I saw that a video game was based on it, I had to pick it up. Thankfully, it's just as enjoyable as the show and playing with friends is even more fun. By the way, I wrote a review for this that you can read here.

7 Magnetica Twist

When you first take a gander at Magnetica, you'll probably think that it's a clone of Zuma. However, Zuma is actually a rip-off of a game called Puzz Loop which Magnetica is a sequel to. So, if you're up to explore the origins of this style of puzzle game then you can't go wrong by downloading this incredibly fun WiiWare puzzler.

Magnetica Twist screenshot
I'm surprised my Mii doesn't get nauseous from spinning around this much

6 Ultimate Shooting Collection

Besides Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection, any game with "Ultimate" and "Collection" in its title is probably going to suck. But, if I said that Ultimate Shooting Collection is a compilation of three pretty decent Japanese shoot 'em ups then any fan of the genre would put aside their bias and take a second look. Being able to play Milestone's classics Karous, Radirgy (AKA Radio Allergy), and Chaos Field all in one place is just awesome and with no hefty import prices to boot.

5 Pirate Blast

One thing's for sure; the Wii has way too many light gun games. In fact, there are three of them that have a chicken theme (Chicken Riot, Chicken Blaster, and Chicken Shoot). It goes without saying that most of these are terrible but Pirate Blast is actually a very well done shooter. You play it by aiming your Wii Zapper to shoot streams of water at robot pirates which shorts out their circuits. Its polished presentation, simple gameplay, and goofy premise definitely make it stand out from the pack.

Pirate Blast screenshot
It looks like the robot pirates stole some jugs from Super Mario Bros. 2

4 Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars

When you look at a game that stars a cast of mushrooms, it's easy to blow it off as shovelware. However, this is one competent 3D platformer. Sure, it won't knock Super Mario 64 off its thrown but it's definitely a worthy experience. The consistently enjoyable adventure filled with exploration, mini-games, puzzles, and item collecting is more than enough to satisfy any gamer's cravings for platforming in the third dimension. Just make sure you don't mind a little bit of Wiimote waggling.

3 Centipede: Infestation

Over the past couple of decades, there have been countless attempts at modernizing classic arcade games. More often than not, this results in a game that's far worse than its old-school counterpart. The same can't be said about Centipede: Infestation which translates the hectic insect-shooting action perfectly to the Wii. There's even a hidden Missile Command pack so how could you go wrong?

Centipede: Infestation screenshot
I hope that fungi isn't related to the Mushroom Men

2 Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy

Ultimate Shooting Collection may include three cool shoot 'em ups yet Blast Works allows you to create your own. Doing so can provide hours of creative fun but not every gamer wants to craft an entire shmup. In that case, working your way through the ton of available content while unlocking full games (including Tumiki Fighters which Blast Works is based on) will delight any shoot 'em up fanatic.

1 Kororinpa: Marble Mania

How much joy could you possibly get from playing with marbles? After a few stages of Kororinpa, you'll realise that the answer is a boatload. Tilting the Wii remote carefully to guide a marble though complex scenarios while flipping upside-down, navigating narrow paths, and discovering hidden areas adds up to one tension-filled yet ultimately fulfilling gameplay premise.

Kororinpa: Marble Mania screenshot
Marbles are easier to control when they're shaped like pandas
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