If there's a concept that screams "Shovelware!" more so than any other on the Wii, it's the mini-game collection. Ever since people started obsessing over Wii Sports Bowling, third-party companies have been falling over themselves to present simple exercises in waggling, curling and twisting around given themes. There are so many Wii mini-game collections out there that our initial worry about Club Penguin Game Day! was that it was going to be "just another Wii Mini-Game collection".
While it does join the ever-increasing mass, at least Club Penguin Game Day! does so in style. It probably doesn't hurt that the penguin avatars used are undeniably cute, sidestepping the problem every other third party has had in terms of not being able to access the existing Mii characters on the console. The kids that Game Day! is targeted at are probably aware of the online Club Penguin property, and indeed those with existing Penguins online can download them to the Wii for play purposes. Coins earned by those penguins can be transferred to the online property as well, which is a nice bit of synchronicity. It's also possible to transfer your penguin to your Wiimote if you've got friends with a copy of the game.
Game Day! covers a dozen events, although you'll have to play through the game's story mode to enable all of them. This involves creating (or importing) a penguin and picking a colour-themed team to join, before setting out to conquer an island split up into six locations. Each location involves playing a set of four mini-games and then a final challenge to change it to your team's colours, unlocking all of the game's mini-games along the way for Quick Play or Tournament mode.
The mini-games use the Wiimote only, and while they're not the most inventive things we've ever seen in a compilation, they're well implemented, from sack races to snowball rolling contests to the truly bizarre sight of penguins hefting massive sacks of coffee on their heads towards a finish line. We didn't even know penguins liked coffee. How on earth do they roast the beans?
As you might have gathered by now, if you want mini-game compilations on the Wii, you're not so much spoilt for choice as flooded with a tidal wave of mediocrity on the most part. Mini-game compilations with quality game mechanics that are actually fun to play? They're much harder to find among all the dreck, but Club Penguin Game Day! is one of them. Fans of online penguin fun will have a great time with this collection.