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Details on each WiiWare launch game

How they work and their features.

Since you've already stared lovingly at the European WiiWare launch line-up, some of which are due out on 20th May, we thought you might like a bit more information on each of the games. Prices listed are based on US and Japanese equivalents, as Nintendo was unable to confirm European pricing when we asked.

(Update 20th May, 7.17am: Pricing is now confirmed. The only two on this list not available at the 20th May launch are Pirates: The Key of Dreams and Pop.)

Like a semi-sick man wandering barefoot around a British hospital, Dr. Mario has picked up some new friends - although support for Miis, online gameplay via Wi-Fi Connection, the ability to share a game demo with friends via WiiConnect24 and a new Germ Buster mode are probably less fatal than MSRA. Otherwise it's the classic Nintendo puzzle formula: kill off viruses in a bottle-shaped gameplay area by using pills to create lines of a single colour. There's support for up to four players, two locally.

As you know if you read our roundup of US WiiWare titles last month, My Life as a King is more of a construction game than an RPG, tasking players with rebuilding a young king's homeland using the Wiimote and some hired help. It also promises to have "Add-on data download" according to Nintendo's press bumf.

  • LostWinds (Frontier) - 1000 Wii Points (GBP 7 / EUR 10 approx)

Developed here in the UK, LostWinds is a platform game where you guide a young hero around a 2.5D world on gusts of wind, solving puzzles as you go. We've been playing this already and think it's wicked, and you can find our LostWinds review elsewhere on the site. The best of the launch games? If it isn't then that's good news for whoever's better.

A "frantic nautical shoot-'em-up" in the words of its creators, Oxygen Interactive, you play as a Navy Captain working undercover as a pirate trying to hunt down and kill Blackbeard. You rescue castaways to man your ship, upgrade weaponry and do other things like cartography. There's also local multiplayer for up to four people and a "turbo" mode, which seems like something other pirate games are missing.

  • Pop (Nnooo) - 700 Wii Points (GBP 5 / EUR 7 approx)

Another game we checked out last month, in Pop you simply point the Wiimote at the screen to pop bubbles. Less simply, you're doing this against the clock, and every miss shaves off seconds, and there are power-ups, and chain reactions to master. This has four-player support too - just hook up some more Wiimotes - and there are online leaderboards and messaging via WiiConnect24.

Obviously eager not to be typecast after releasing 738 TurboGrafx shoot-'em-ups on Virtual Console, Hudson's first WiiWare release is a shoot-'em-up where you try and set a high score with a two- or five-minute time limit. Apparently it's got "tons of replayability", ship upgrades and online leaderboards, but it's only for single players. We won't pretend this matters to us, since we hate everyone.

  • Toki Tori (Two Tribes) - 900 Wii Points (GBP 6.30 / EUR 9 approx)

Do you remember Toki Tori on the Game Boy Color? Nor do I, but Wikipedia says it's a platform/puzzle game where you try and rescue chicks scattered around four big environments. The WiiWare version by the same developer, Two Tribes, sounds much the same, but uses the Wiimote for controls and has 70 levels, WiiConnect24 message board functionality and the option of letting a second player draw hints on the screen with a Wiimote to help you out. Eurogamer actually has a system a lot like this where we punch each other and withhold wages whenever Bertie makes spelling mistakes.

  • TV Show King (Gameloft) - 1000 Wii Points (GBP 7 / EUR 10 approx)

Last and - call us cynics - quite probably least, TV Show King is a "fun TV trivia show". We bet. Select a Mii and answer questions in competition with your family. There's more than 3,000 general-knowledge questions promising "an alternately serious and hilarious game", perhaps by asking who killed JFK and then asking if his bum looked big in it.

Look out for reviews of all of those very soon.