Pose Mii is likely the most abstract minigame in Wii Play, and it also happens to be one of the least fun. As bubbles containing silhouettes of your Mii in one of three different poses fall down the screen, you'll use the Wii Remote to move your Mii around the screen. Your goal is to pop the bubbles before they reach the bottom of the screen. You press the A and B buttons to cycle through the different poses and twist the Wii Remote to line up your Mii with the positions of the silhouettes. There's a little strategy here because you'll see specially marked bubbles that, when popped, will cause all the other bubbles onscreen to freeze in place. Things get tough as the bubbles start falling faster and at crazier angles, and the game mixes up the types of silhouettes it throws at you more quickly, but it's also repetitive and not particularly fun.
Laser hockey requires almost no explanation, because it's just air hockey with a glowing neon motif where you use the Wii Remote to control the paddle, twisting it to hit the puck at different angles. Still, this is one of the better games in the package, due largely to its strength as a two-player game and its conceptual simplicity. The visual style of Laser Hockey is also simple, but the clean, sharp look makes it easier to focus on the action. Billiards is also pretty self-explanatory and fun. It has you aiming your shot with the D pad, then aiming at a specific spot on the cue ball before pulling the Wii Remote back and then pushing it toward the screen, like you would a pool cue. Though it takes some time to get control over the power of your shots, the controls feel pretty good, and it's slick how you can control the spin of the cue ball. The problem with Billiards is its lack of gameplay options--you can play a game with eight balls where you have to sink them in numbered order, and that's it.
Fishing has you going after what appear to be construction paper cutouts of fish in a pond the size of a kiddy pool. It's a neat idea, but it's hard to get a good sense of depth, and it can appear that your lure is in the water when it's really far above it. The game's arts-and-crafts visual style is really the best thing it's got going for it. Charge is another game with a cute visual style but not much in the way of gameplay. In a world where everything appears to have been hand-knit, your Mii will ride a cow down a winding path, knocking down scarecrows and hopping over vaulting gates. You control the cow by holding the Wii Remote sideways--you steer the cow by turning the remote from side to side, move faster by tilting the remote forward, move slower by tilting it back, and jump by quickly lifting the remote up into the air. This kind of control scheme was novel when the Wii first came out, but by now enough real, full-featured games have used it for Charge to not really matter. Lastly there's Tanks!, the one game in Wii Play that you can play with the Nunchuk. It's quite reminiscent of Combat for the Atari 2600 and has you piloting a tank around a field apparently constructed out of wooden building blocks, dropping mines and firing shells at CPU-controlled tanks. The Nunchuk definitely makes it easier to move and shoot at the same time, but even without it, Tanks! is decent, simple fun.
It's not all bad, but Wii Play doesn't hold up as a stand-alone retail game. Nintendo seems to be aware of that, because the only way you can get Wii Play in North America as of this writing is as a pack-in with a Wii Remote. The continued scarcity of the Wii Remote, and the fact that the Wii Play package is retailing for only $10 more than a remote by itself, makes the game's shortcomings easier to overlook. Regardless of price, Wii Play probably isn't going to hold your attention for long.