Mario Kart Wii to popularize turn-based online multiplayer?

wiiwheel225.jpg12-player worldwide online multiplayer is a blast, but what if you want to play Mario Kart Wii with a friend and can’t find the right time to meet up? Send your friend a Time Trial challenge! In a way, it’s like playing Advance Wars through the mail. One player races on the course of their choice and then sends their result to a friend. That friend takes their turn when they have time to do so. Results are shared and you can brag the heck out of it; repeat.

In theory, this sounds fantastic.  In practice, though, the system Nintendo has created to do this has faults.  It’s admirable of them to create a game specific Mario Kart Wii Channel that allows you to check online status of friends and more without the need to insert your Mario Kart Wii disc.  Unfortunately, it’s not a very intuitive channel to navigate.  You can see that a friend has sent you a time trial challenge, but it’s not terribly obvious where to go to accept the challenge.  It’s sad to see what is actually a great way to play turned into what feels like a last minute add-on.  A little more polish and this would’ve been a huge hit that might’ve started a new gaming trend.

It’s a great concept, despite its flaws, but how could other games implement turn-based online multiplayer? A quick, online challenge is fun, but a game that can be played over a longer period of time would be a blast. WiiWare Chess that notifies you when a friend makes their move through the Wii Message Board would be nice to see. Anyone who has played Scramble on Facebook could easily see turn-based online Boggle becoming a great WiiWare title. What other games could benefit from a multi-player option like this?