DS Roundup • Page 3

Prey the Stars, Subbuteo, Driving Theory Training, Bakushow, PictoImage.

Bakushow

  • Developer: Route24
  • Publisher: Rising Star Games

Thematically similar to the previous page's PictoImage (i.e. it's about drawing), Bakushow's existence doesn't just raise an eyebrow but the whole upper part of my head. Scratch being similar, it's less than that; a mere slip of an idea masquerading as a game. It's a basic sketchpad program that allows 2-4 players (local wireless on one card) to doodle things and share them between each other. I wish there was more to say. That's it.

There is no game. You have to make it up. One person asks the others to draw a tractor, for instance, and then everyone votes on who sketched the best one. There's nothing else to it. It's a blank page staring into your soul, laughing at you for wasting money on a pad of virtual paper. At least they put some colourful borders around things to make it look like they made the effort. Everything else is up to your imagination and we all know there's no room for that in videogames.

Seriously, it's hard to justify Bakushow in a world where Pictochat exists for free, as every critic in the world will probably point out. I felt insulted just loading it up and forcing people to play with me. We might have had some fun doing things together, but that's not the "game", that's us. We don't need it. I find it so lacking in worth that I fear I'm drastically missing the point here. Perhaps. I'll put an extra point on the score just in case.

2/10

Driving Theory Training

  • Developer: Anuman
  • Publisher: Atari

Hang on, this isn't a game, it's an educational tool. What next? A review of AutoCAD 2009? We're making a mockery of the Eurogamer name today. We only throw it in as an indicator of where the DS market is these days, for good or bad.

3

The predictable answer is low flying motorcycles, of course.

Anyway, I have little interest in this. I've passed my test, you see, and like everybody else on the road, that automatically allows my brain to forget ninety-five-percent of everything I ever bothered to learn to get there. As I recall: give way to the right, don't drive on the pavement, and remember that people can see you picking your nose at traffic lights. The rest is fluff, isn't it?

For those of you, predominantly teenagers, on the other side of the coin, it's one of the major hurdles to overcome on the way to independence and the embarrassment of asking your mum to give you a lift to a date. For a couple of months at least, knowing the maximum speed of a motorised scooter on the road (8mph) is of paramount importance. No wonder the Highway Code is a perennial bestseller in the book charts.

The DS version's one big, important feature is the practice mode allowing you to prepare for your multiple-choice theory test for car or motorbike through mock exams. Marking shows you where you went wrong and gives you some indication of progress. As a reference tool, however, it's not so great. The layout is too basic and boring - just a series of numbers to tap on and rules to read with a few pictures every now and then. There's no decent indexing system either, making it a chore to find the parts you want to bone up on.

There are a few throwaway mini-games (aha! I knew we'd redeem ourselves) included to justify the product on a handheld, but really, why bother? You can take practice tests online if you really want, just as you can study the official Highway Code. Or you can just buy the book. A bit of a redundant and rather bland aid, all things considered.

3/10

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