The game is really fun, but it's also really short.
The trend in the gaming industry is to move away from long, epic games. Instead, developers are designing fun-to-play games that won't take hours away from the daily routine. Wing Island is one such game, although Hudson might have gone too far with the small game concept here.
But before that, it must be known that the game is a blast to play. Plane movement is done with up/down remote tilts and left/right remote twists, which are extremely responsive. The turning radius of your plane can be adjusted by speeding up or slowing down with the remote D-Pad. Advanced maneuvers such as a 180-degree quick turn can be achieved by a quick remote flick to the left or right. It's also possible to boost or brake via a forward or reverse remote thrust, although those moves are tricky to pull off without accidentally doing something else.
The ease of flight and tight controls are why Wing Island is fun. Adjusting altitude to pluck a container from the ground in one of the game's cargo missions is as simple as moving your wrist. Racing around a turn in a cave at high speed is fantastic, and you don't even need the most steady hands in the world to do it. If you're really brave, you can fly through a building-filled town at ground level going between as many buildings as you dare.
If you decide to stop buzzing around for fun, you can try the game's missions. There are different types: Finding objects, crop dusting, plane racing, balloon popping, cargo delivery, bombing, and photography. Within these types, the task at hand may change. You may be fertilizing fields in one mission, but in another you'll need to drop water over a fire to help extinguish it. This variety means you won't be doing the same thing in the same way in a different mission.
Each mission takes place on one of the game's three island levels. Once you complete four missions on a level, four more appear and the next island opens up for play. Missions only take two or three minutes to complete, and therefore you'll unlock the second and third islands relatively quickly. Once you finish the final mission on the third island, which shouldn't take more than two or three hours, you'll see the end credits.
Yes, the credits. In less than three hours, you will probably have beaten the game. The extra missions on the islands are still there to complete, but there's no more required gaming on your part. From that point on, you'll be playing the game just to enjoy playing it.
That's not really a bad thing, though, since the game is such a joy to play. You will go back to play the extra stages, and in doing so, you'll get to earn enough money to buy faster planes that make it much easier to attain a good ranking on a mission. A high ranking gets you a medal, and the only way to get one of the best planes in the game is to medal on every level. This task might take you a while, but the other best plane is available for you to purchase after beating the game, which doesn't take a while at all.
Wing Island also comes with two-player competitive modes. You can race against a buddy on one of nine courses (three on each island). There's an exclusive multiplayer mode that starts off each competitor with a string of balloons behind their planes, and the goal is to pop your opponent's balloons before yours get popped. This mode is actually quite frantic, and requires strategy to position yourself to protect your own balloon string. The nice thing about multiplayer is that it doesn't require two Wii remotes. If you just have one remote and a nunchuck, player two can fully control his or her plane with the attachment, since it has the same tilt sensitivity as the main remote.
The multiplayer modes can be played against a CPU opponent, and that brings a little more replay value to the title. However, as you begin to wrap up gold medals on the missions and stacking on the upgrades to your planes, it becomes clear that Wing Island is really a one-trick pony. Even if it's a really great trick, it gets stale rather quickly.
Wing Island is meant for the non-gamer crowd, although pros will find there's a great deal of enjoyment inside. The game's lack of content is the big killer here, but it's still crazy fun to explore what's there. For that reason, Wing Island is a game that everyone should check out in one form or another. You may think twice about buying it, but don't hesitate to at least rent it.