The success of Wii Sports has spawned a surprising lack of clones, despite being the Wii's undisputed killer app. Very few voids go empty forever (barring the vast unfilled depths of the infinite cosmos) and Deca Sports is going to try and give Wii Sports some company in its uncrowded field.
Deca Sports comprises ten events that play like mini versions of the sport they represent. I recently got some hands-on time with the demo, which came with four complete events, and while I applaud the developer's ambition, the overall package feels like it's going to need some work.
I started off with volleyball, which is more than a little similar to Wii Sports Tennis. The two players on either side of the net move automatically, leaving you to worry more about the timing of the swing than positioning. There are a good number of moves available to serve the ball back, set up your teammate, or defend from a spike, giving it a nice amount of depth.
Next up was a bit of figure skating, which was both simple and my favorite of the events, despite its ease. The figure skater follows a series of small yellow dots around the ice, and when she skates over one of the bigger circles it's time to give the remote a waggle. Hit the center and it's a Perfect, hit too close to the edge and she falls on her butt. Each song has a set routine and you need to outscore your competitors at it to win. Figure skating ended up being oddly addictive even though it's the least complicated event of the lot.
After that was badminton, which I can only hope gets torn apart and reprogrammed from the ground up before the retail version hits. The timing on the swing is all wrong, making it absolutely no fun to play.
A few rounds of supercross wrapped things up, and while Excite Truck did tilt steering better this actually works pretty well. Hammering on the accelerator just leads to crashing into walls, so you've got to manage your speed while keeping control on the corners. The competitor AI is dumb as a stump, but that won't be a problem in multiplayer.
When the retail version hits, there will be another six sports available - go-karts, archery, basketball, snowboarding, soccer, and curling. Deca Sports is looking to bring the variety, with a good selection of events and controls ranging from simple to surprisingly complex. All it needs to do is overcome the hit-or-miss nature of the demo to become a fun bit of multiplayer entertainment.