Guinness World Records: The Videogame

This may seem like another ill-conceived Wii title destined to clutter the shelves of games stores; however, its mix of short, challenging mini-games and online record keeping could be enough to addict hardcore rhythm gamers.

Joseph Hanlon Special to CNET News
Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies.
Joseph Hanlon
3 min read

A good portion of the enjoyment in playing video games is the opportunity to experience the life of someone extraordinary, from a superstar athlete to Jedi Knight; we love the chance to step into the shoes of someone superior to ourselves. With that in mind, Warner Bros Interactive gives us Guinness World Records: The Videogame (GWR), the first game we can remember allowing you to become the world record holder for the longest burp and champion sheep shearer in one cute package.

A nail-biter's paradise(Credit: Warner Bros Interactive).

Developed exclusively for Nintendo platforms by TT games, the studio behind the super popular Lego Star Wars franchise, GWR is a party game in a similar vein to Warioware and Rayman Raving Rabbids — a mixture of mini-games showcasing a variety of real-life world record attempts including the aforementioned burping and shearing plus others like growing the world's longest fingernails and attempting to smash the most watermelons with your head in a three-minute period.

Recently, the CNET Australia team was invited to participate in a friendly GWR tournament, and we must admit we accepted the invitation cautiously. Since the Nintendo Wii's release the selection of quality game titles has been few and far between, and GWR appeared to be yet another Wii exclusively destined to clutter the shelves in EB Games stores. However, it didn't take long for the magic of GWR to shine through.

Similar to other party games, the controls for each challenge are vastly different, making use of both the Wiimote and Nunchuck in an effort to simulate the action required to perform a similar task in real-life — where possible. For example, attempting to beat the record for tearing a phone book in half in the shortest time requires you to hold the Wiimote and Nunchuck together end-to-end and twist them in small circles until you find the "sweet spot", then furiously jerk both controllers back and forth as though trying to rip through the book.

Alternatively, competing in a egg and spoon race requires a little more skill, with the Wiimote acting as the spoon which has to remain level while you flick the Nunchuck to simulate running. This may be easy for people capable of patting their heads and rubbing their stomachs at the same time, but will take some practice to master nonetheless.

No sheep were harmed during the making of this game(Credit: Warner Bros Interactive)

This seems to be the secret to the success of GWR. Each of the 36 mini-games has a pick-up-and-play quality but will need to be played repeatedly before the player can be truly competitive. To see how you match up to players from around the world, GWR will feature updated high scores including regional records and world records, plus the real-world record for each event. Players holding the world record in certain events may have the chance to be entered in the actual Guinness book of World Records as a virtual champion.

As a party game GWR seems to be on the right track. While there doesn't appear to be a traditional multiplayer element, only one player can actively participate at a time, each of the challenges is so short that it'd be difficult to feel left out of the game while waiting for your turn. With the games being so short and difficult to master, GWR is the kind of game you'll want to keep coming back to, just to see if you can't top that world record or at least beat the record set by your mates.

TT Games has given this title a nice, clean and colourful cartoon look with a mixture of exaggerated sound effects and cheesy muzak playing under the menus and throughout the events. The presentation is fitting but certainly not the selling point, unlike the gorgeous graphics of the Lego games.

Guinness World Records wil be released in Australia during November exclusive to the Wii and Nintendo DS.