When Helix came out for WiiWare this week, I can’t say that I was particularly excited. With so many better downloadable games for every system being released this summer, the bar has been considerably raised and there’s no way I would consider spending points on mediocre-looking games when there are better options out there. Still, when I was given the chance to review it, I went in with an open mind—after all, I’m always looking for more reasons to support the Wii. Unfortunately, Helix is not one such reason.
Helix is a single-player rhythm game that uses two Wii remotes as the player moves his or her arms around wildly to mimic a dancing robot on the screen. Graphically, it appears that this could have probably been a PS1 title. However, that’s forgivable considering the tiny file size the WiiWare games have to adhere to, and considering the fact that the game managed to squeeze in 26 songs, which is quite a feat. While the robot flails its arms about wildly, a rhythm bar appears at the top of the screen to let the player know when to move and whether or not he or she did each movement correctly. Too many wrong moves, and you fail the song, not unlike other rhythm games.
The only three modes that you get are easy, medium, and hard; as you would probably expect, the increased difficulty adds more moves and goes faster. However, I found that even if I spazzed out and did an entirely wrong move, it would still give me credit for doing it right about half the time. In fact, I wanted to see what would happen if I ignored my robotic friend and just made up my own moves, and I made it through most of the song. It kind of defeats the purpose of a rhythm game if accuracy isn’t much of a concern, doesn’t it?
The biggest problem with Helix, however, is the fact that it feels like the developers simply forgot to add fun. It’s a shame, because if it managed to keep me entertained even for a brief amount of time a day, I would probably have bought it just for calorie-burning purposes. However, almost immediately I was bored and wondering if there was any point at all to looking like a fool at Gamervision HQ by swinging two Wii-motes around to awful music. I tried all three difficulties, hoping that more of a challenge would keep me interested, but in the end I just wanted to give up, having absolutely no motivation to finish a song.
It’s really a shame, because I feel like the developers of this game honestly tried to bring a unique experience to the Wii, which is something the system desperately needs. Die-hard rhythm game fans might get a kick out of this, but for the average gamer, there’s nothing here worth ten bucks. Save your money, there will be better games.