Abarcy

Sports Island

Sports Island features opening music that urges you to "move your body", along with plenty of Adidas branding, so you might be persuaded to think it has something to do with exercise. But like many casual sports games, this title falls short when it comes to making you sweat.

There are 10 sports, and these can be played at a number of different levels: Open Match, League, Tournament, Mini Game and Multiplayer. This leaves a lot of flexibility when it comes to deciding how long you are going to play for.

However you can't play as yourself. Instead players are represented by one of eight teams, made up of members with different strengths and weaknesses.

The League consists of playing one match in each sport, against three other teams. To win the League you don't need to win every game, so long as you rack up more points than the other teams. There are three League levels, and you need to win at the lower levels in order to unlock the one above it.

Tournaments consist of two or three rounds of a single sport, played against increasingly difficult opponents.

One of the best aspects of Sports Island is its controls, which are relatively easy to understand. The section labelled "Controls" can be used for free practice. As you play there are opportunities to go over the instructions at frequent intervals, and even in the middle of a League game. Someone has clearly thought hard about making these controls clear, and accessible whenever you need to check them.

Badminton

Counter-intuitively, you need to aim downwards whenever you hit the shuttlecock, even if it's very close to the net and your character is shown tapping it from underneath. Once you've got used to this badminton is an enjoyable sport, and one of the most physical.

Kart Racing

Quick reflexes are needed here, but like most racing games it won't make you sweat. The courses are also short and uninspiring.

Curling

Curling is actually one of the more active games, because you play all three participants. However the power bar which determines how hard you push the stones depends on perfect timing, rather than taking into account the speed of your initial push. Nonetheless this is quite an interesting version of this sport which takes timing, careful aiming and precision to master.

Snowboardcross

Perform tricks, avoid hitting the sides or the other players, and try to get the best time. It's simple to pick up, but this sport soon becomes quite dull because the courses are very short and uneventful. It may use better motion-detection technology, but this mini-game isn't a patch on EyeToy Antigrav for variety, challenge and sheer entertainment.

Archery

In this you shoot increasingly distant targets, sometimes with wind speed and direction to account for. In real-life archery you can't draw and hold the bow taut for too long because your arm will start to tremble. Sports Island approximates this by giving players just 10 seconds to aim and shoot once the bow is drawn. This is one of the better sports.

Supercross

See Kart Racing. It has the same controls and the same flaw of short, dull courses.

Beach Volleyball

Beach Volleyball is an acceptable game that's quite similar to Badminton in its play style.

Figure Skating

This uses the nunchuk for its joystick, and it requires a lot of precision and concentration but very little physical effort.

Basketball and Football

Both of these games use the nunchuk extensively, as you play all the members of your team at once. That's three players in Basketball, or five in Football. The result is heinous. It's frantic and fiddly and you're rarely sure who you are meant to be or where you should be going next. In some cases it's difficult to distinguish the team colours so it's hard to tell teammate from opponent. Yet in spite of the confusion these are not actually very energetic games at all.

Conclusion

There's a good variety of sports, some of which are quite enjoyable to play. However the racing games in particular aren't very detailed, and Basketball and Football are a confused mess, barely playable. So this balances out as an average title, but it's hard not to speculate on how much better it would be with fewer duff sports and more attention to detail on the rest.