While the Tony Hawk license has popped up on a lot of different platforms, there is one Tony Hawk title that is making an exclusive debut on the Wii console system, and the formula is rooted in nothing but fun. Downhill Jam is purely arcade-like in set-up and overall design and you are racing downhill over varied courses. You can take shortcuts, you can perform tricks to fill the Zone Bone (hehe!) – which in turn will give you a power boost – and use a variety of attacks to take out the competition and finish first in the race. This is no-holds-barred racing.
And to make this even better, in regards to the Wii controller, you merely have to hold it loosely in both hands, as though it was a standard console-controller, and tilt it to turn (a nice break down the arm-swinging madness of other Wii games). The axis sensors in the controller make steering an absolute breeze. To activate the Zone Bone (or to get back on your board after a spill), all you have to do is shake the controller.
The game sports 10 environments and 12 characters (yes, there is a customisable character) to choose from as your in-game personality. There are also different types of races, including the downhill runs and the slalom races. In the latter you have to hit blue rings/gates to accrue more seconds in the timed event.
There are a few launch titles for the Wii that cross the age barriers. Downhill Jam is certainly in that group – it is easy to pick up and play and everyone, young or old, and of any skill level will find challenge in the game. But Downhill Jam may distinguish itself as a title that provides a reason to buy the Wii – it is that much fun.