The Top 9 WiiWare Games

9 terrific games you can download through the Wii shopping channel

Some of the best games for the Wii don’t come on disk but are instead downloadable through the shopping channel. Here are the top 10 WiiWare choices. Sharp readers will notice that the majority of these are puzzle games. While WiiWare action games are often simple, rather dumb arcade-style shooters, WiiWare puzzle games are often wonderfully ingenious.

WiiWare has been discontinued, but this information should come in handy for people who own the games, or can find them on other systems.

01
of 09

'Tales of Monkey Island'

Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhale
Guybrush Threepwood in peril. TellTale Games

What We Like

  • Hilarious voice acting.

  • Fun, cartoonish art style.

What We Don't Like

  • Suffers from graphical glitches and frame rate issues.

  • Some puzzles are a little too easy.

"Tales of Monkey Island" is an episodic puzzle-adventure game series consisting of 5 episodes. They’re all great, so it makes sense to count them as one, wonderful, funny, clever WiiWare title.

The "Tales of Monkey Island" series of games can also be played on PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, iOS, and other Macintosh operating systems.

02
of 09

'And Yet It Moves'

And Yet It Moves
A pencil-sketch man runs through a paper-collage world. Broken Rules

What We Like

  • Unique game mechanics.

  • Levels are just challenging enough to avoid becoming frustrating.

What We Don't Like

  • Gameplay is largely the same from start to finish.

  • Includes no story to speak of.

A perfect game for the Wii that was actually original released for the PC, this unique platformer asks players to move the entire world to help one avatar reach his destination. With an imaginative visual design, clever puzzles, and a gesture control scheme far superior to the keyboard controls of the PC original, "AYIM" is everything you could want in a WiiWare title.

"And Yet It Moves" is also available for Microsoft Windows, Linux, iOS, and Macintosh operating systems.

03
of 09

'World of Goo'

World of Goo
2D Boy

What We Like

  • Pleasantly weird visual aesthetic.

  • Varied levels and challenges.

What We Don't Like

  • The controls can be finicky.

  • Older versions of the game lack multiplayer.

Perhaps the first really notable WiiWare title, and still one of the best, "World of Goo" combines clever, original, physics-based puzzles, beautiful graphics, and a very slight but amusing story into a wonderfully satisfying package.

"World of Goo" can now be played on Android, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Linux, and Macintosh operating systems.

04
of 09

'Art Style: Orbient'

Art Style: Orbient
A game entirely about gravitational fields. Nintendo

What We Like

  • Simple two-button control scheme.

What We Don't Like

  • Currently only playable in Japanese.

A game of beautiful simplicity, "Art Style: Orbient" asks players to move an avatar planet using the gravitational mass of other planets and stars. Even at its most brutally difficult, there is still a wonderful peace in gliding past burning suns to the game's ethereal score.

"Art Style: Orbient" is a remake of a Game Boy Advanced game called "Orbital," which was only released in Japan, so the only way to play it is to import a cartridge or find a GBA emulator and a ROM.

05
of 09

'Bit.Trip Runner'

BIT.TRIP.RUNNER
Gaijin Games

What We Like

  • Generous difficulty curve.

  • Upbeat soundtrack perfectly fits the theme.

What We Don't Like

  • Primitive graphics.

  • Higher levels are probably too difficult for most casual gamers.

"Bit.Trip Runner" is a game in which you must make your little runner jump and duck at just the right places. Fast, exhilarating and very difficult, the game also has the typical "Bit.Trip" retro look and the fabulous use of music that infuses the entire series. There are six games in the series including a sequel, "Bit.Trip Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien."

"Bit.Trip Runner" can still be played on Nintendo 3DS or via Steam on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Macintosh operating systems.

06
of 09

'Burn the Rope'

Burn the Rope
Big Blue Bubble

What We Like

  • Delightfully charming main character.

  • Inventive levels and obstacles to overcome.

What We Don't Like

  • It's a blatant rip-off of "Cut the Rope."

  • Motion controls can be a little tricky getting used to.

This clever puzzle game asks players to simply burn an elaborate rope sculpture. With interesting touches like exploding bugs and ropes that need special flames, "Burn the Rope" does a lot with a very simple concept.

"Burn the Rope" can also be purchased for iOS. The game it's based on, "You Have to Burn the Rope," is easy to find online.

07
of 09

'Tomena Sanner'

Tomena Sanner
Press the button at the right time and you can dance with a schoolgirl chorus line. Konami

What We Like

  • Easy enough for anyone to play.

What We Don't Like

  • The core gameplay is just like any other endless runner.

Quirky and very Japanese, this game is nothing more than a man running forward while players press buttons at just the right time. Full of amusing animations, "Tomena Sanner's" big flaw is not its simplicity but its brevity; easily completed in an hour, the game shouldn’t sell for more than $2.

There is also a version of "Tomena Sanner" for iOS devices.

08
of 09

'Max and the Magic Marker'

Max and the Magic Marker
Big Blue Bubble

What We Like

  • Puzzles require players to use their imaginations.

What We Don't Like

  • Gratingly repetitive soundtrack.

"Max and the Magic Marker" asks players to use a magic marker to create stairways and other objects to help Max get where he’s going. In spite of the frustrations of drawing freehand with the Wii remote, which makes the game more difficult and frustrating than the original PC version, the game is still fun and ingenious.

"Max and the Magic Marker" can also be played on Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, iOS, Windows Phone, and Macintosh operating systems.

09
of 09

'LIT'

LIT
Players need light sources to avoid the creepy crawlies in the dark. WayForward Technologies

What We Like

  • The music and lighting effects succeed in creating a creepy atmosphere.

What We Don't Like

  • No in-game tutorials means you'll literally and figuratively be walking around in the dark.

This ingenious puzzle game asks players to navigate a dark room filled with deadly creepy crawlies by creating safe light zones using lamps, computer monitors and broken windows. The game starts out as a brilliant puzzle game but becomes frustrating as demands on player reflexes are thwarted by control issues that make some simple actions far too difficult. The creepy atmosphere and originality make this one worth trying.

"LIT" was also released as a free game for iOS, Android, and Microsoft Windows.