Review: Sneezies infects Wiiware

Despite its annoying title, Sneezies attracted me with two elements I like in a Wiiware game: It’s five bucks and only requires pointing and clicking the Wiimote’Perfect for quick gameplay direct from the home screen.

Based solely on the Nintendo Channel promo video, I downloaded Sneezies expecting an experience similar to Fantavision, the old PS2 fireworks matching game that would be awesome on Wii.

But Sneezies is nothing like Fantavision. It’s far simpler than that. In fact, if you’ve ever played a casual game at all, you might think the colors of the Sneezies factor into the gameplay. Nope. Think very simple. Simple, ridiculous”¦and surprisingly addictive.

A random scattering of bubble-encased fluff creatures (the Sneezies) float about your screen.Your goal is to free as many as possible with a burst of sneezing powder. You only have one shot, so aim to start a chain reaction: a sneezing Sneezie will release a fireworks-like burst of colorful mucus (what else could it be?) right before it parachutes homeward. That burst will cause any contacted Sneezie to react with a sneeze of its own. If you’ve played it right, you’ll have contaminated most of the screen in seconds, freeing your quota and earning you passage to the next level.

As an adorable metaphor for a plague, Sneezies is funny, relaxing and’like Chillingo’s better-known release, Angry Birds’very user-friendly in its quick level resets and progress saving.

Pleasant backgrounds and relaxing music keep the atmosphere mellow. The slightly deeper Challenge Mode gives you multiple shots to achieve tougher goals.

Overall, Sneezies is a very likable, lightweight, unpretentious and funny little game. Is it worth five bucks, especially compared to its 99 cent iPhone counterpart? Even though this Wiiware edition has lost a few minor presentation details in its conversion, it holds up quite well as a quick, simple, good-natured big-screen diversion.

I’m still hoping for a good Fantavision clone, though.