My wait for Mario’s upcoming game just got a little more bearable, because for the last two hours I’ve been unable to tear myself away from Freakyforms, a brand-spankin’ new Nintendo property that just hit eShop for $6.99.
It’ll be a little while before I can write a review, because this is the kind of game that starts you off with limited options and keeps growing the more you play. At this point, however, I can tell you it’s good. Really, really good. If you’re a fan of Animal Crossing, and you love to create, buy it.
The online videos don’t do it justice: this thing has all the polish, fine-tuning and expert pacing you expect from a Nintendo game. It runs at 60 FPS and bursts at the seams with charm and humor. What makes it fly is how well the character creation and the platform game work together to create a solid, addictive experience.
Basically, it goes like this: You’re given a planet to name, and are given the task of populating it with creatures from your imagination. At first, you have limited parts to work with. Once you’ve created, named, and given a voice to your new citizen (the voice-picking feature is worth the price of admission), you take it out onto the planet, which resembles a fairly generic platforming world (it’s up to you to customize it). You control your character with the stylus, and jumping is accomplished by pulling down and releasing, slingshot style. The cartoony physics here feel just right.
You have limited time to explore: the clock is your nemesis. So, you race around the environment, uncovering secrets, opening chests, accepting quests and challenges, and eating to produce colored eggs full of coins (you crack them open after the time runs out–and, yes, even the egg-cracking is well done). The more you explore, the more options you unlock for creating characters. The more you create, the bigger the world gets.
I’m hooked. I think Nintendo’s got a winner on its hands. I don’t know how much depth this game will turn out to have, but I’ve already gotten my money’s worth, and I haven’t even unlocked half the options yet. Full review coming soon.
One last thing: I don’t usually make remarks about other site’s opinions, but IGN’s reviewer just….didn’t…get it. He calls this game “befuddling,” doesn’t see the point, and apparently didn’t get the character creator to really sing: Believe me, once you’ve unlocked all the options and really played around with it, you can create almost anything, including people and living vehicles. You can even create a decent Freakyforms Mario! I’d show you a picture, but I haven’t unlocked the photo option yet…
I think the IGN review is worth mentioning, however, because: yes, this game is not for everyone. If what I’ve described above sounds awesome to you, buy it. If you think it sounds ridiculous, then it probably isn’t your cup of tea. As for me, I’m freaking out in a good way.