Karakuri Reader Review

When I first saw the screenshots for this game in an issue of Edge, the first thing I thought of was Ratchet and Clank, Sony's fantabulous platforming series for the PS2. The reason? The screens reminded me of those simple yet rubbish Clank minigames that littered Ratchet 2 and 3. It was then, in my mind, disregarded as utter dross. Flash forward a few months later and I'm singing the praises of said game. And to think the only reason I purchased it was on a whim.

Plotwise the game's not terribly exciting, but if I had to suffer through the banality of the storyline so should you, so...

Tokobot's story follows the exploits of a kid (16 years old to be exact) called Bolt who works for this archeologist called Dr Cranewood and is tasked with exploring these ancient ruins. On his explorations, Bolt comes across some prehistoric robots or "tokobots" and with the aid of these creatures it's your mission to discover more tokobots and uncover their secret. If there was ever an award for the worst story in a video game, Tokobot would surely win.

Gameplay consists of guiding your tokobots around an environment with the aid of three tokobot formations - U, V and circle. The U formation has your tokobots in a straight, horizontal line while V has them lined up in a straight, vertical line and circle formation has them laid in a circle-shape around you. It's a puzzle/platformer so as you might expect there's plenty of enemies and some bosses to defeat by taking advantage of the different formations and environmental obstacles to overcome.

Technically it's nothing special. Characters are bland, under-detailed and jaggy while environments are uninspired - nothing too radical here! These are small niggles but are exasperated by the PSP's large screen. It might not be the best looking game on the format, but it's graphics get the job and that's what matters.

It has charm, something in this day and age of 'mature' gangsta themed crime em-ups, is sorely missing.

If I was to sum the game up in one word it would be: surprising. Such is life, eh?

7 / 10

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