Go! Go! Kokopolo: Harmonious Forest Revenge
- DSiWare - 800 Points (£7.20)
Uh-oh: someone's been at the Haribo again. This week, a drumming Sky Guardian known to his buddies as Jinbe 'accidentally' lets one of his bongos fall off a cloud and hit a sleepy wildcat called Kokopolo. As you do.
Reacting with misplaced fury, the angry moggy sets off on a path of vengeance upon the various Snap Snap sentry plants that quietly go about their business around each of this game's 80 maze-like levels.
What that means in basic gameplay terms is an endearingly daft but surprisingly tricky affair where provoking your target into chasing you apparently counts as revenge.
In order to get the innocent foliage to react, you have to essentially happy-slap them, then run away and lure them into the jaws of some kind of Venus Flytrap thing. Once you've cleared the maze of occupants, it's off to the next, more challenging stage.
But as endearing as its unabashed hyperactive ways are, Tanuki Studios is not afraid to rip us a new one with every passing level, with a procession of wicked traps and tricky turns to negotiate en route. Part of the problem is that Kokopolo has to sprint around most of the time, making it easy to miss your turn and smack headlong into trouble.
It doesn't help, either, that the jump response is iffy at the best of times, which ensures that you often find yourself taking damage at inopportune moments.
With a slightly gentler ascent, Go! Go! Kokopolo could have charmed us into submission. Instead, this chaotic, vibrant and original idea quickly descends into a battle of wills that only the most determined aggrophile will want to see through.
- PC/Mac (Steam) - £4.99
You've probably had enough match-three puzzle games by now to last you several lifetimes and the eventual tortured afterlife. But YeaBoing counters such concerns by bringing us the "match-all puzzle experience".
The indie outfit describes its debut offering as "otherworldly", "Zen-like" and a "relaxing puzzle experience" - and all this without any illegal intoxicants involved. After this promising build-up, it's mildly disappointing to just find yourself tracing lazy lines on an 8x8 grid of coloured blocks. To make blocks disappear, you simply have to join up two or more blocks of the same colour by connecting them with a vertical or horizontal line.
To score the most points, you can follow the suggested task and try to clear blocks of that colour; the more tasks you successfully fulfil in a row, the bigger the reward.
But because there's no obligation to conform to these tasks, you can just keep playing under your own steam and complete levels by accident.
It can be pretty 'zen', if you want to call it that, but it's also a bit rudderless as a result. A little more structure and pressure might have been a good thing, and as a result you feel more like you're playing a proof of concept. If that was the aim, then job done, but it really wouldn't have hurt to include a basic Time Attack or a puzzle campaign to drive you on.
As it is, Lucid flows along happily over its 55 levels, but playing for high scores alone may not be enough to tempt you into the zone.
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