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Published April 3, 2010

While our Club Nintendo pales in comparison to the Japanese equivalent, we still get some pretty nifty stuff, including a new Punch-Out!! opponent, tangible Game & Watch collections and even Hanafuda cards from the Nintendo of yesteryear. But these gems don’t come cheap. Not only do you have to buy a ton of games, but you also have temptations like Grill-Off with Ultra Hand, an 80 point download that just seems to cheap to resist. Unlike every other WiiWare title, this one actually received some advertising, too (featuring Tim Olyphant and American Ringo Starr in a poncho). I’m utterly baffled by the gold treatment, as Ultra Hand is about as lightweight as it gets.

This barbecue simulator is essentially a Game & Watch game, except for the fact that it requires you to wildly flap your arms like a chicken. Meat continuously falls from the sky, and you must yank it away with the Ultra Hand before it overcooks. (The titular toy was a Gumpei Yokoi creation, and it’s made a few WarioWare cameos since.) I will admit that I appreciated the challenge of keeping track of various kinds of meat at once. Roasted chicken takes longer than kabobs or steaks, for instance, and thus grilling becomes a delicate balancing act. Even so, the game is just too unforgiving; if you drop even a single kabob, it’s an instant game over. Apparently, Nintendo doesn’t believe in the five second rule.

I doubt this will hold anyone’s attention for more than five minutes. Save your points, kids.

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