Keeping its past alive, Nintendo has an exclusive WiiWare title that is only available through its Club Nintendo program that harkens back to one of their first hit toys from the 1960s. While Grill Off with Ultra Hand is basically the equivalent to a $.99 smart phone game, it is a low cost way to experience an exclusive title on your dust collecting Wii. It only costs 80 Club Nintendo Coins which can be redeemed after registering just a couple of eligible games.
So what exactly is the Ultra Hand? The Ultra Hand was a Nintendo produced toy that extends when squeezed together and supposedly sold over a million units making it the sort of Tickle Me Elmo of its day. As an interesting side note, Nintendo has been sneaking this extendo arm into some of their games with the most recent being a quick cameo in Mario Kart 8.
This interactive grilling simulator uses Wii remote and nunchuk motion controls and is like a low tech version of any Cooking Mama title. Meat magically gets thrown on a grill and the player must use the Ultra Hand to pluck this properly cooked meat onto a plate. If it burns, game over. Take it off too early, game over. Drop it on the ground, game over. The one-miss-and-you’re-out gameplay requires a higher sense of concentration, is reminiscent of old arcade style games, and will require a few matches to get over the learning curve. The game speeds up in time, progressively increasing the difficulty, and some meats take longer to cook than others. In a way, this is basically a new form of Game & Watch, a batch of calculator-style original handheld games by Nintendo.
The entire gimmick of this inexpensive downloadable title is holding the Wii remote and nunchuk as if holding a giant pair of scissors. Using this scissor motion, the Ultra Hand will be extended and meat can be grabbed off the grill. The analog stick moves the Hand left and right while the trigger button causes the grill to heat up. It is a very simple game built entirely around getting a high score. There is a two player mode, which is limited to 90 seconds, but this mode won’t hold your attention for long either.
Grill Off with Ultra Hand is a one trick pony without any extra features whatsoever. There is a high score local leaderboard so you can keep track of your best runs but that is it. There is not even an option to view credits or play around with audio settings. It is doubtful players will want to play for more than 5-10 minutes at a time but it is hard to complain with such an inexpensive nod to Nintendo’s past. It is definitely not the best game Nintendo has ever produced but at least they are offering something unique to Club Nintendo members while acknowledging their roots.
Not As Cool As: owning the original Ultra Hand toy
Not As Fun As: almost any other Club Nintendo downloadable title
Also Try: that how-hard-can-you-hit-it Punching Bag game found in your local bar
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com