If you've come here hoping for confirmation that snowboards are featured in Namco Bandai's latest Wii offering you're out of luck, because they're not. If you're here looking for an entertaining and accessible skiing game, however, then you've come to the right place. We Ski affords you unlimited access to the large Happy Ski Resort from the get-go, and while the game's unusual controls definitely take some getting used to, the various events and challenges that litter the resort's slopes are well worth the effort.
Before hitting the slopes you need to choose a character for yourself. There are well over 200 wannabe skiers on the game's roster, or you can use a Mii if you prefer. It's unfortunate that you can't equip hats or goggles if you opt to ski as a Mii, but the same is also true of some of the premade characters, and you're unlikely to miss the option until late in the game when you unlock "special" outfits that incorporate headgear. Next, you should pay a visit to the ski school, which, despite taking an unnecessarily long time to play through, does an excellent job of familiarizing you with the controls necessary to snow plow, slalom, and stop without the aid of a tree. Advanced lessons teach you how to perform air tricks, but these can be learned just as easily from characters that you encounter on the Happy Ski Resort slopes later on.
Other skiers are an ever-present hazard.
Regardless of whether or not you're playing with a Wii Balance Board (which can only be used to turn left and right--you can't control your speed the way you can in Wii Fit's skiing exercises), you'll need both a Wii Remote and a Nunchuk to play We Ski. For the most part you can think of these as the handles on your ski poles; you move them up and down to dig your poles into the ground and skate along flat areas, you rotate them to tuck the poles under your skier's arms and adopt a crouching position, and when you're not using the aforementioned Wii Fit peripheral, you angle them to the left or the right to turn. Buttons are needed to snow plow and to navigate moguls, and using the control stick is the easiest way to stop, but save for those few functions and some of the more advanced air tricks, you can get from the top of Lion Peak down to the bottom of Rabbit Road using nothing but hand gestures. It's a great setup once you get the hang of it, and it's unfortunate that the Balance Board functionality is so rudimentary.
With one perilous exception, all of the resort's 14 courses are classified as either beginner, intermediate, advanced, or as being designed solely for air tricks. Every course brings something different to the table, whether it's narrow winding corners, an especially icy surface, or scattered trees. What all of the courses have in common is that you're never the only person skiing on them. Other skiers not only make great obstacles but, when you see them standing around with yellow icons floating above their heads, they also have challenges for you. There are over 150 challenges in total, including trivia questions, food delivery runs, rescue missions, and more conventional elements like races, slaloms, and mogul tournaments. It'll be a while before any of these are genuinely challenging, but that's largely because the learning curve is so good that you're rarely asked to do anything that previous challenges haven't prepared you for. It's also because, trivia questions aside, We Ski is a mostly easy game. In fact, scouring the mountain in search of characters that have tasks for you will often take longer than it does to complete them.