Publisher: Ignition Entertainment
Developer: AQ Interactive
Genre: Puzzle/Action Adventure
Release Date: Available Now
The Nintendo DS is the highest-selling console worldwide, with a catalog that boasts some of the most unique titles available anywhere. The uniqueness of these games doesn’t guarantee that they are good or even worth playing, but there are some, however, that get lost in the mix and could be worth a look just for their fun gameplay and sheer charm. Boing! Docomodake is a stand-out game that might be too unusual to get a great reception from gamers. So what exactly is it that makes Boing! Docomodake different (besides its title)?
Boing! Docomodake is an action-adventure/puzzle game based on a Japanese cell phone mascot. A Docomodake is a large mushroom creature with small arms and legs. The game centers around a father Docomodake who seems to have lost his family and goes in search of them through side-scrolling levels filled with puzzles and treasures. The game is broken up into eight levels, each of which contains five or six sublevels. Father Docomodake is controlled with the D-pad. He has the ability to jump and can be “shrunk” by pulling mini-Docomodakes off of him; he is made up of multiple minis, and removing them is the main gameplay element. You can either pull them off or tap the L or R button to break four of them off at a time.
To get through a level you must use these minis to solve puzzles that get progressively more difficult. They range from moving the minis into dotted-lined boxes to form a bridge, to pulling enough off to make it small enough to fit through a small space. The decrease in the character’s size also makes it lighter. Some puzzles revolve around using the Dokomodake’s weight or the weight of the minis on a balance to move things. The minis can also be balled up and thrown at the handful of enemies in the game. The minis are controlled with the stylus and can be dragged anywhere on screen that you need them to go. This plays a lot into the puzzle end of the game because there are lots of places where they must be moved. Many of these places are also littered with spikes. When dragging the minis you have to be careful to avoid the spikes and other enemies, as the minis can be damaged by these things. They can also be dragged together as a group, often leading to some moments of sweaty-palm stylus dragging and occasional frustration about the stylus’s accuracy. Overall the mini system works and is partly what makes this game fun.
Throughout each level, coins and treasure chests can be discovered and collected, and alternate paths to the finish can be explored. I must say that collecting these items really didn’t bring much reward. The coins collected can be used to unlock music and pictures, but these really aren’t worth the effort. That’s the glaring weakness of this game; there really isn’t much to it beyond what is initially presented. Sure the levels get longer and more challenging, but other than the reward of moving on to the next level there really isn’t much to keep you going. I don’t really know if anything else could have been included. The game is already at a lower price point when compared to other DS titles, so it might deliver just enough for the “on the go” gamer.
The majority of my time with Docomodake was spent while on the plane to and from E3. I guess the sign to me that this title has some decent fun factor was that I actually put down my iPod version of Peggle to play it. For a game to make me do that there has to be something to it. Maybe its quirkyness makes it fun to play, or perhaps my familiarity with its look could’ve also had something to do with it. Docomodake has that old-school look. The style of the environments reminds me of a Mario game, and the catchy music could have you whistling after you’ve put it away. With all this taken into consideration, Docomodake still somehow retains its own uniqueness.
Boing! Docomodake might not be on the top of anyone’s must-play list, but I think it’s worth checking out. Many people would be surprised at just how much they would enjoy this game. I’m not saying run out and pick it up today, but sometimes something new and different can be a good thing. It seems gamers lately have been content to just buy the same familiar thing and not branch out to try something new. Boing! Docomodake might not be a completely new style of game, but as a whole package it is a breath of fresh air in an all-too-familiar industry.
Our Score :