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09 August 2009

Boing! Docomodake DS [DS]

Plot Synopsis: 3/10
Boing! Docomodake DS is a game based on the mascot character for a Japanese cell phone company. Papa Docomodake's family has gotten lost, and it is up to you to find each member of the family in time for the annual festival in nearby Docomodake forest. Once you've found them all, the game is over.
I'll give the plot a 3 out of 10. It's a fairly cliched concept, and nothing is fleshed out beyond what you're told on the back of the game case. If you've read the two sentences on the case that describe the game, you know the entire story.

Game Play: 7/10
You control Papa Docomodake, a mushroom-like creature who can split into several smaller versions of himself. When you start the game, you can separate into 4. As the game progresses, the number of smaller Docomos you can split into increases. These smaller Docomos, called Roly-Polys, can be used for a number of purposes. They can be stacked to build a makeshift ladder for you to climb. They can be thrown at certain enemies, obstacles, or switches. They can be used to weigh things down. You get the idea. They serve as a sort of all-purpose tool.
Progressing through the game is done by solving puzzles to make your way through the obstacles in front of you. More often than not, this requires the use of your Roly-Polys. Unfortunately, while things do get a bit more complicated, the further into the game you get, the methods are usually similar enough that I tended to get a bit bored, if I tried to play this game for more than, say, half an hour at a time. Any more than that, and the game began to feel tedious and repetitive.
The control scheme was interesting. You simply press Up on the d-pad to jump. Pressing left or right, on the d-pad, twice, in quick succession, would make Docomo roll in that direction. Splitting off a Roly-Poly is achieved by a simple click and drag on the touch screen. Certain aspects of the control scheme weren't quite intuitive, but they also weren't so bad that I couldn't accomplish anything.
I'll give the game play a 7 out of 10. The game is fun, but it is best suited for those times when you are simply bored and have 10 or 15 minutes to kill.

Graphics: 9/10
The graphics follow a very cartoon-like style, which, in my opinion, is perfect for this game. The animation is fairly smooth. Everything is easy to read and understand.
For all the reasons I mentioned above, I'll give the graphics a 9 out of 10. They work very well for what the game is.

Audio: 6/10
There is no voice-acting in this game, and the music is, quite frankly, forgettable. It was always appropriately upbeat, and fit well with the game, but there was nothing about it that made me sit up and take notice, at any given point.
I'll give the audio a 6 out of 10. No voice-acting is better than bad voice-acting, and the music was passable.

Overall Score: 6.25/10
This game was fun enough to pass the time at those moments when i needed to kill 10 or 15 minutes, but it wasn't really enough to keep me riveted, playing for hours on end. To be honest, I highly doubt i'd even bother playing through it a second time. I could, but I just don't feel the need.

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