The Most Intriguing Wii Homebrew Games

Cool Free Games for Homebrewed Wiis

Gamers can install the homebrew channel to use the Wii as a media player or to run game emulators, but they can also download a number of interesting games. Many are simply ports of old games or new versions of standards like Pong, Tower Defense or Break-Out, but others are original, free games that, in spite of often primitive graphics and bare-bones gameplay can be wonderfully entertaining. Here are six you really should check out.

of 06
Helium Boy
Bertil Hörberg

Helium Boy is a surprisingly slick but extremely short homebrew game in which a boy uses balloons to float through his environment collecting floating stars. There’s only one level, so even if it takes you a few tries to make it to the end you’ll still be finished in less than an hour even if you try to collect every star. But this is still one of the most professional-looking homebrew games for the Wii; one can only hope the designer decides to create some more levels.

Mahjongg Wii

Just your basic MahJong game, but a notably slick one with nice graphics, the ability to get a hint or shuffle tiles if you’re stuck and a very pretty song that unfortunately wears out its welcome pretty quickly. There are games that cost money that are inferior to this nice little homebrew title.

of 06
Sand Traps
Uffe Flarup

The most impressive Wii homebrew game has got to be Sand Traps, a puzzle game that involves tilting the Wii remote to move sand to a target. While visually very primitive, Sand Traps is one of the few homebrew games that fully takes advantage of the Wii remote. The game also does a good job of varying the basics; sometimes certain parts of a level will burn the sand away, or the sand will dissolve platforms, or you will be able to draw stone onto the screen to corral sand. The controls are reminiscent of Marble Mania: Kororinpa, and the gameplay is similar to parts of the iPhone game Aqua Forest, but the end result is a unique game that shows the potential of Wii homebrew games.

of 06

Valve’s puzzle 3D game Portal has inspired a number of 2D knock-offs like Portal: The Flash Game. Two such games exist as Wii homebrew games, Portii and StillAliveWii, which I discuss below. Portii is a fun, tricky game in which you use a gun that creates portals that take you from one part of a level to another. While it uses the central portals concept of the original, Portii has a different approach to level design, making players gather slices of cake and requiring quick reflexes to create portals to keep the avatar from falling through space to its death. It’s interesting to see someone put their own spin on a familiar game mechanic.

Beneath a Steel Sky
Revolution Software

The SCUMMVM engine allows you to play point-and-click LucasArts adventure games on a variety of platforms. Installing SCUMVM on a homebrewed Wii will let you play any of the old LucasArts games (or other games that use that engine) such as Day of the Tentacle or Loom, but you need to own the original disks to play them. The exceptions are a handful of adventure games that have been re-released as freeware, the most notable of which is Beneath a Steel Sky, a minor classic from the folks who went on to create the Broken Sword series. Originally designed as a PC game, Sky works beautifully on the point-and-click-friendly Wii.


Unlike Portii (see above), StillAliveWii’s level design feels very similar to that of Portal, with the same basic traverse-an-impassable room puzzle style. A port of a DS homebrew game, StillAliveWii expands slowly beyond portals to switches, moveable barrels and turret guns. The game is probably my favorite of all the Portal clones I’ve played, but if you like one you should play them all. You can even play the internet flash game on your Wii if you have an internet connection, the internet channel and a connected keyboard. (You don’t even need the homebrew channel.)