Game Review

Grill-Off with Ultra Hand! Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

You get what you pay for

For a video game rewards programme, Club Nintendo is dishearteningly light on actual video games. Apart from arguably overpriced Game & Watch DS collections and a year-end bonus for Elite members in the form of Doc Louis' Punch-Out!!, rewards have mostly been items such as posters and playing cards. But now, for a mere 80 coins (which can be amassed by joining and then registering a retail Wii game), the North American Club is host to an honest-to-goodness exclusive WiiWare game.

Previously released in Japan, Grill-Off with Ultra Hand is a slightly more complicated version of the old Game & Watch gizmo Chef, although the juggling aspect isn't as literal. Someone, somehow, is placing food on four grills and your goal is to remove it at the right time and put it on a plate. Naturally, you do this using Nintendo's indispensable culinary tool, the Ultra Hand, which is a plastic toy with extendable arms that the company originally released in 1966. (Fun fact: the toy sold over one million units, making it one of Nintendo's first big hits since the company started to expand its business beyond Hanafuda cards.)

You control your Ultra Hand by using the Remote and Nunchuk to mimic the toy's handles: tilt them towards each other for the neutral position and hold them parallel to extend the clamps. The analogue stick moves your hand back and forth, food is grabbed with the A button and cranking up the flame is done with B. It all works well enough, although it might take a few tries to wrap your head around the necessary multitasking.

Solo play is an unforgiving score attack where just one mistake will end your game. Two-player Vs. is a 90-second battle for the highest score where each player is responsible for two grills, lending plenty of opportunity for sabotage. That's about it, really, but it delivers pretty much the amount of content you would expect from an essentially free WiiWare game.

You might also expect the whole production to feel slapped together, but Ultra Hand's playful, chunky visuals don't disappoint. The catchy hybrid of deck party/60's spy pop tunes might also scratch that same itch for those of us who like to boot up the Wii Shop channel for its muzak.


If Grill-Off with Ultra Hand had a Weber-bound equivalent then it would be a cheap hot dog: it's okay to indulge in once in a while but not something you'll care to have again very often. It's fun in the same way a Game & Watch game is, but don't expect a whole lot more depth than that.

From the web

Game Trailer

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Grill-Off with Ultra Hand! is a new WiiWare game coming soon exclusively for Club Nintendo members. For just 80 Club Nintendo Coins, test yo

User Comments (35)



grenworthshero said:

Harsh...5/10 is a little low. I'd say it's somewhere between 6 and 7. It's a fun game for a while, but it's not that great.



natendo said:

The game actually controls quite good, although the ultra hand does twitch on me sometimes. I like the stretching and pulling sound effects that come from the remote speaker. The ‘one miss’ is annoying in my opinion.



Tsuchinoko said:

I think so too. i would have given it at least a 6/10.

BTW, is the punch-out game still available at all. I just joined Club Nintendo and started registering, so this was my first reward. It would be cool to try out the Punch-Out game, if its still available.



natendo said:


Unfortunately, Doc Louis Punch-Out was only available for Platinum Club Nintendo members last year. So unless Nintendo decides to offer it again in this year’s reward (which most likely they won’t), there is no way to get it



Sean_Aaron said:

Hopefully it comes to Europe. I'm sitting on a couple of thousand points right now hoping to save up for something beyond a couple hundred Nintendo Points.



liammiller18 said:


80 Nintendo Points translates to 80 cents, however this game is paid for using 80 Club Nintendo Coins, which requires 80 dollars worth of first party video games.



Kid_A said:

Score seems a bit lower than the review let on. Actually sounded kind of fun.



kitroplious said:


Not exactly. You can still spend $20 on all 200 point DSiWare titles and get 100 Nintendo coins (or even some free).



Capt_N said:

Huh, I'll have to ponder on getting this.

Free vs. something else I could spent my coins on...



EdEN said:

Well, it IS 80 points and since registering a few games gets you several coins...



GammaGames said:

Yeah, my highest lvl is 1, so, this is a 4/10. good controls, music, and graphics. its just so boring i cant concentrate. but, it was cheap. cant wait 4 platinum reward this year!



Virus said:

The music and graphics were great, but comparably, the gameplay and controls sucked. I know it's only 80 coins, but I guess I expected a little more than a minigame. I agree with the review's score.



winter123 said:

I finally downloaded this... The main problem I have with it is holding the controller vertically whereas the hand is horizontal. Why?
Also I agree the 1 miss is a bit unforgiving. 1 miss = sudden death mode, or it should. The main mode should have been 3 misses minimum.



Gameboy1994 said:

When the hell is this going to come to Europe?! Why is Europe always the dupe of release dates?! We never got Earthbound, Chrono Trigger and Super Mario RPG and now we must miss this?! When is Nintendo going to use their brains? They don't realise that more people outside Japan and the U.S.A. want games like these!



Gameboy1994 said:

Oh yeah, BTW. I had some American games with those coin things, had 2400 coins total, and an American account BUT can't do anything with it because..I LIVE IN THE NETHERLANDS! Bought ultra hand BUT can't activate the code because..THE CODE DOESN'T WORK IN MY REGION!



CaptainDingo said:

I just recently accumulated the 350 coins required to order my set of 3 Mario posters. I'd say that is probably the best way to spend your coins, currently... definitely don't blow 80 on this, as tempting as it might be. The folders would be cute for kids, but I can't think of any time in my adult life that I need Mario folders, and the Wii remote bucket is useless since many of us probably keep our Wii remotes on a charge station.

If Nintendo started putting figurines in the Club Nintendo shop, I'd leap on those like a rabid dog.



Onion said:

This is a love it or hate it kind of game really. I'm in the "hate it" group unfortunately.

I can't stand the controls for one thing. No matter how hard I try (moving further from the tv, moving closer, changing how I hold the wiimote, etc) I can't seem to get a consistent grasp on the games controls. The extending hand thing jerks and wigs out constantly, and I'm lucky if I can get more than a few pieces of meat.

The challenge problem is another issue I need to make a note of. I'm no stranger to hard games, but this game is just relentless. For one thing, they don't allow for any warming up. There's no progressive difficulty. Rather than have the difficulty start out low and scale upwards, they just start out throwing meat all over the grills and giving you little time to get used to the controls. Only allowing for one screw-up doesn't help either. They should have reserved that for a "Survival Mode" of sorts instead of making it part of the main game.

Finally, it's bare. There's not much to it. In fact, there's next to nothing in terms of content. To be fair, it's a 80 coin title making it essentially the cheapest Club Nintendo item. But still, I can't shake the feeling they made little attempt with this.

In short, I actually agree with this review. A 5 is a perfectly reasonable score considering the hit-or-miss reception it's getting from players.



Rargon said:

This game was always one of the lower priced prizes for Club Nintendo members, still haven't found a reason to buy it. lol



StarDust4Ever said:

I had 110 coins sitting in my Club Nintendo Account from registering both Smash Bros titles for the Mewtwo DLC. I was already 7x Platinum and am pretty much done with Club Nintendo at this point. Got my code for 80 points as the last hurrah because there's literally nothing else I could buy with it. Came to check the review after I redeemed it.

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