We Ski, also known as Family Ski in Japan and Europe, is a ski simulator developed and produced by Namco Bandai for the Nintendo Wii. Released in 2008 it was one of the first third party games to utilise the Wii Balance Board as a core gameplay feature. It is possible to compete in a number of different challenges, such as races and deliveries, and on numerous different courses that make up the Happy Ski Resort.
The Wii Balance Board can play a big part of We Ski, making it the first third party game to do so. Players stand on the board and distribute their weight to steer their character while the Wii Remote and Nunchuk act as virtual ski poles, giving a relatively accurate simulation of actual skiing techniques. It is also possible to play without the Wii Balance Board, using just the Wii Remote and Nunchuk.
The game is set on the fictional mountain that makes up the Happy Ski Resort and features 14 different courses, which can be played during both day and night. Each course offers varying difficulties as well as different terrains ranging from icy slopes, moguls and jumps, where a number of tricks can be performed. After completing each slope the player is graded on their overall performance, such as time taken to get from start to finish, speed, turning, tricks and balance.
As the player tours the resort it is possible to interact with other skiers, many of whom have a variety of challenges and tasks that need to be completed. Races and delivery missions are common as well as photo opportunities, slalom, search and rescue, and orienteering. On completion of these challenges the player will earn Star Points that can be spent at the Ski Shop to buy new outfits and equipment.
There are 224 characters to choose from, all in a distinctly chibi anime style. Mii’s can also be used if a more personalised character is desired. In-game photo’s can also be shared with other players via the WiiConnect24service.