My Word Coach is one of those rare few games that isn't really a game, it is a horrible trick played on young children. When they open up their birthday gift, one that obviously is shaped like either a video game or movie, and they see it I doubt their reaction is anything other than confusion. It sounds like some sort of learning game but the way it is set up is designed to lull you into thinking that you are indeed playing a game and having a good time at that. Whatever this devilish device of evil actually is, its quite fun to play even for an adult.
At its core My Word Coach is just that, a learning game. However it does a very good job of covering up this fact by layering a fairly simple premise over the learning process. You will be paired up with one four professors, each with their own personality, and put through a number of tests (mini-games) that are designed to increase your Expression Potential. This potential measures your ability to, well; express yourself to others in a productive manner. Your average person starts off at around a 50 or 60 percent, and it takes a lot of game time to reach higher ranks.
To increase your Expression Potential you go through a variety of tests, cleverly developed mini-games. They come in a variety of flavors ranging from Missing Letter, where you must complete the word onscreen by spray painting in the letter, to Word Shuffle, where you use a magnifying glass to help you match up words and their definitions. Most of these games are fairly simple to pick up but they come in a variety of difficulty levels and some of the words will likely blindside you. To make this more appropriate the game gives you an assessment when you start it up, giving it a fair idea of what you know. It then tailors itself further to your age and the knowledge that you display. All of this makes it rather easy for anyoneto just pick it up and play regardless of age.
The biggest gripe with these mini-games is that the Wii doesn't necessarily do a great job understanding what you are doing. When you are trying to spray paint in letters in Missing Letter you have to do it rather quickly. There were a number of times that my letter would register as a "T" while I was moving to put the bottom part on the "I" that I was trying to do. You can adjust the speed and recognition to a degree but this hampers your speed and the game judges how well you do based on speed and correct answers. So you have to choose between wrong letters at times or slow going as you enter them. If you are sloppy with these sorts of movements you may find your "P" gets read as a "D" instead.
Visually, My Word Coach is serviceable and crisp for what little you are getting. Interestingly enough the voice acting of the four professors is actually pretty good and they never grate on the nerves, an oddity since most big name games have at least one voice actor who could drive a man to kill. The music that is played is rather soft and kind of helps you relax and just play the game.
Overall it is hard to complain about the overall package. Most of the things in this title are about as good as they need to be to not distract from the core experience without trying to excel. It all has a rather simple and understated feel to it and that works fine for a game of this type.
The biggest problem here is that this is a port from a Nintendo DS game that is nearly half the price, and the only addition is a few multiplayer modes. Add on the fact that using the Wii remote is nowhere near as precise as the DS stylus and you really should invest in the DS version instead. There are a whole line of these games for that little system and it is the preferable way to play them.