Hands down, I’d say Chase Mii provided the best demonstration, in the simplest terms, of design implications for multiplayer on Wii U.
One Toad-like Mii person thing holds the new controller (have we decided on a collective name for that yet?), and is tasked with running away from four other players who are playing with standard Wii remotes. The guy on the run holds all the keys to the information castle. The Wii U controller has a full-scale map, complete with real-time details on where the four other characters on. It’s up to the other four to communicate verbally and work together to tackle the man with the touch screen.
It only takes moments for the concept to click and everyone to start yelling, cursing and trying to cover up the screen of the guy with the fancy controller. It’s just a basic concept here, though, and while it’s clear this specifically wouldn’t hold up for more than a few rounds, it’s easy to imagine where something like this might go—and how a few beers would make the whole experience a million times more absurd.
The key here is the lack of information for all the other players. For large stretches of time, we’d be playing and no one would have an idea where our target was hiding. Silence, followed by screaming. They’d make a break for it, and we’d have to yell ambush strategies to lure them out of hiding. Your character can run just a wee big faster than the target, a fair tradeoff for the amount of information at their disposal.
Being on the flipside is just plain stressful. You’d think knowing everything would put you in control of the situation, but the reality is exactly the opposite. You have too much information to process all at once, and the head start you get to hide from everyone means very little as four players begin to spread out in search of you. The fact that those players have no information means their actions are sometimes so random that you’re unable to use the information you have to any real advantage.
I don’t think Chase Mii is the next Wii Sports, but it does accomplish a similar goal of communicating what the controller’s capable of to both players and those watching.