The Wii version of Arctic Tale offers similar gameplay to the handheld versions, but in full 3D. The player controls a cub who can freely explore the Arctic environment. While moving around, different challenges can be played, marked by Bear Markers. Performing well has the bear advance to a new stage of life and lets him discover new lands. Each challenge can be played three times in more difficult stages (Bronze, Silver, Gold).
On the main screen, the HUD consists of hearts (life), silver paws (pick-ups) and golden paws (pick-ups). Collecting silver paws makes new playable animals available, such as the Arctic fox (10 paws), adult bear (20 paws), orca (30 paws) and walrus (40 paws). The different challenges (mini-games) include:
Ice slide: race down an ice track collecting silver paw prints.
Scavenge: collect leftover meals from adult polar bears without waking them.
Shuffle: slide to the center of a ring to score.
Food fight: timed button-mashing for food
Ice flow rodeo: steer a piece of broken ice through currents.
Catch-a-seal: pounce patiently on seals when they appear.
Orca race: underwater race through tunnels and caverns.
Ice sheet: find a safe way across frozen water without breaking the ice.
Clam scavenge: catch clams in underwater caverns before time runs out.
Walrus chase: underwater chase for a walrus
Walrus hunt: underwater exploration to catch walruses.
Making sweet music: have the walrus dance by performing gestures in a timely fashion.
Four games can be played in multiplayer: Catch-a-seal, Making sweet music, Food fight, and balance fight.