Thursday, April 7, 2011

So, What did YOU do on Spring Break?

Our First Annual Case Family Wii Tournament took place during the kids' second week of Spring Break (yes, here in District 49 in Colo Spgs, we get 2 weeks of Spring Break).  The "first round" was completed on Thursday, 3/31 with all but Myra (she's only 9 months old after all!) participating.  The top four scores from that opening round advanced to this past Monday's Final Four round (which I will blog about separately at a later date).

I spent quite a bit of time outlining the scoring and setting up the order in which we would play the games so that it could be fun and fair.  We had "adjusted" scoring for the three kids under 8 years old, which did what it was supposed to and allowed one of them (read on to find out who) to make that Final Round.

I did not take pictures of our family while we completed these games, but wanted to share some pictures of the games we participated in.  One big thing we all learned from this is that in future years we will have each participant be given the opportunity to pick the games we play as a family.  This was one of the key points of the Final Four (each participant in that round got to pick ONE game that we all had to complete) and arguably what made it the most fun!

So here are some pics and the corresponding scores of our family in each activity / game:

Hula Hoop (on the Wii Fit)
Arguably my personal best game, this is a relatively simple hula hoop game.  You swing your hips.  Other players toss you additional hoops (up to 5) if you are doing well enough.  Check out my wife's blog for pictures of me helping Brooklyn do this (it was sooooo funny!)
Scores for this game went as follows: - Savannah (17 spins); Cat (41 spins - she was easier to move than Savannah!); Josh Jr (35 spins - NOT his favorite game!); Brooklyn (77 spins); Ben (95 spins); Mom (228 spins - nice job!); Dad (298 spins - shoulda been 300!  Grrr!)

Soccer (on the Wii Fit)
Josh Jr has become more and more of an expert in this game, if only because he is good at standing on one leg!  :)  The trick to this game is to lean your body left, right, or in the center and "head" the soccer balls while avoiding the cleats and panda bear heads (don't ask me what happened to the bears themselves).
Our scores in this game ended as follows: - Cat (4 points); Savannah (7); Brooklyn (34); Ben (63); Mom (117); Dad (203); and Josh Jr smoked us with 221 points!

Ski Slalom (on the Wii Fit)
This is one of Karen's favorites!  Simple rules: ski downhill, fast, and navigate your Mii between the flags.  Penalties are assessed for missed flags and even if you go really slow you're likely to miss some.
Our times ended up like this: - Savannah (2:22.28 minutes and seconds); Brooklyn (2:00.25); Catalina (1:55.01 - she missed less flags); Ben (1:41.76); Josh Jr (1:24.38); Mom (49.95 seconds - she missed a few flags at the end when I cheered her on ... sorry sweetie!); Dad (45.13 seconds)

Ski Jump (on the Wii Fit)
This is one of MY favorite games.  You have to hold your body very still in a forward leaning position and then SNAP your body upward and hold perfectly still once you make the jump.  Cat tried this, but if you don't jump right you just roll down the hill as a big snowball.  She still loved that part!  She laughed each time and chanted in a perky upbeat Catalina-kind-of-way "I'm a no-ball!  I'm a no-ball!"
With two jumps each, the scores ended as follows: - Savannah (51 Meters); Brooklyn (122 M); Ben (180 M); Josh Jr (210 M); Mom (260 M); and of course Dad (306 M)

Table Tilt (on the Wii Fit)
This is the ultimate "balance" game as it requires patience and complete control of your body weight.  You basically shift your weight on the Wii Balance Board to get the balls to roll into the hole.  But as the levels increase, so does the degree of difficulty and the number of balls you have to keep balanced on the board.  I love this game!
Our scores went very evenly (except Karen and I): - Cat (20 points); Savannah (30); Brooklyn (40); Ben (50); Josh Jr (60 - with a beautiful save on his last level - he snuck the ball in at the last second!); Mom (98 points - you get 10 points for each completed level and then a bonus point for each second left on the clock, if you clear all 8 levels); Dad (114 points!)

Penguin Slide (on the Wii Fit)
Don't be fooled by the title, YOU are the penguin (or at least your character is dressed in a penguin suit).  And you slide back and forth by tilting left or right on the Wii Balance Board with the purpose being to collect fish which are worth different amounts of points.  This game is addictive!  The two littlest girls have not played enough other Wii Fit games to have earned this one, so they did not get to play - but that would have been fun to see!
Our scores ended as follows: - Ben (61 points); Brooklyn (64); Josh Jr (66); Mom (70); Dad (71 - yep, I just barely caught one fish at the very end to take home the win!)

Snowboarding (on the Wii Fit)
This event is just like ski slalom, except that the Wii Balance Board has to be turned sideways (like a snowboard).  Unfortunately Josh Jr had not "earned" this game yet, so he couldn't play or earn points for this game.  He made the Final Four just fine so don't get all weepy for him!
Our times in this game went like so: - Ben (1:40.56 minutes and seconds); Brooklyn (1:32.21); Mom (1:14.46); Dad (50.46 seconds)

Find Mii (on Wii Play)
It is hard to describe this game, but I will try.  You are basically trying to find "Mii"s that either: are identical, look like your Mii, are faster than other Miis, look a different direction than the rest of the crowd, etc.  We simply had everyone play one time against everyone else on this (and the other two Wii Play games) and you got one point for a win and no points for a loss (except those kids under 8 got a point just for trying!)
Our scores for the WHOLE Wii Play section ended like this: - Catalina, Savannah, Brooklyn, and Ben all had 3 points (1 per each game they "attempted" to play); Mom had 6 points (2 wins in each game); Josh Jr had 10 points (he beat everyone in Find Mii); Dad had 11 points.

 Charge! (on Wii Play)
Another game that is way more fun than you might originally think.  Your Mii rides atop a *crocheted cow along this unending course.  *The graphics are so funny!  Your goal is NOT to be the fastest, but rather to collect the most points by knocking over scarecrows that are lined up on the road.  You have to "jump" over barriers and you can knock the other cow-riding-Mii off the track if you bump them just right!  What a silly game, but soooooo addicting!

Shooting Range (on Wii Play)
Very similar to the original "Duck Hunt" game on the original NES (Nintendo Entertainment System for those too young to know better).  What is better about this version (besides much better graphics, etc.) is that you go through about four different shooting competitions that test all kinds of hand-eye coordination skills.  I usually dominate on this, but the kids (and Karen) are getting much better with practice.

At this point I was guaranteed a spot in the Final Four, so I sat out the three Deca Sport games left to be played.  This worked out well because then Mom, Josh Jr, Ben, and Brooklyn could just play each game (all are 4-player challenges) once and gain points for 1st - 4th place.

Kart Racing (on Wii Deca Sports)
This game is nowhere near as fun as Mario Kart (coming just a little later in this blog), because the controls are way too sensitive.  But it's enjoyable enough anyway.
Our scores ended this way: - Brooklyn (3 points, 4th place); Mom (3 points, 3rd place); Josh Jr (4 points, 2nd place); and Ben finally won one! (5 points, 1st place!)

Snowboard Cross (on Wii Deca Sports)
This game is easy to play, very difficult to master!  You have to go fast enough to beat other players, but if you get going too fast then you spin out and fall behind.  Just like in the real Olympic sport, you easily knock over other players (and get knocked down yourself) when you bump into each other.
We ended in the following order: - Ben (2 pts, 4th place); Brooklyn (3 pts, 3rd place); Mom (4 pts, 2nd place); Josh Jr (5 pts, 1st place).

Supercross (on Wii Deca Sports)
This is probably my personal favorite motorcycle riding game on the Wii (but it may be the only one now that I think about it).  Much less sensitive than the Snowboard Cross or the Kart Racing, this game is basically just about timing your landing off a variety of jumps to make sure you land both tires at the same time.  Sure there is cornering and steering involved too, but the recovery from a bad landing is the one thing that will slow you down the most.
Our scores finished like this: - Brooklyn (3 pts, 4th place); Ben (3 pts, 3rd place); Josh Jr (4 pts, 2nd place); Mom (5 pts, 1st place)

Long before this time Catalina and Savannah had given up any interest in playing stupid video games.  About here is when we noticed they weren't even watching any more!

Mario Kart
Only people who have never played any version of Nintendo don't  know what this game is.  Josh Jr is our most dominant player in this game ... by FAR !!!  We did individual time trials as opposed to a group race and ... here's how close it came out: - Brooklyn, (1:27.614 minute and seconds); Dad (1:23.633); Ben (1:23.219); Mom (1:23.085); and the "king," Josh Jr (1:21.301)

So the final tally on scores looked like this:
 - Savannah and Catalina were "out" with 18 points each
 - Ben was "out" with 40 points
 - Brooklyn was "IN" with 42 points (she was the beneficiary of our "under 8 years old" modified scoring)
 - Josh Jr was "IN" with 49 points
 - Mom was "IN" with 53 points
 - And, of course, Dad was "IN" with 53 points (he was ranked the overall #1 seed heading into the Final Four round because of his courteous stepping down in the Wii Deca Sports games).

Check back in a few days to see my blog post about our Final Four round and the eventual crowning of the first ever Case Family Wii Tournament Champion!  :)


  1. That sounds fun. I look forward to seeing who the winner is.

  2. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant!! I loved your synopsis of each game (and thanks for including a photo of each game so I knew what it looked like)! What a blast you all must have had during this tournament!!