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Bobby Carrot Forever - WiiWare Review

Game Info
Bobby Carrot Forever

WiiWare | FDG Entertainment | 1 Player | Nintendo Wi-fi Connection Pay & Play DLC available | Out Now | 500 Nintendo Points
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote (sideways)


Review
30th August 2011; By KnucklesSonic8

As much as I love puzzle games, I can be picky when it comes to logic games specifically. For example, I've never found Minesweeper to be enjoyable, but I love Picross. Over a year ago,
Mouse House made an appearance on the WiiWare service, which didn't exactly leave me feeling refreshed. So perhaps that's why Bobby Carrot Forever didn't seem too interesting as it was going through the development process. Despite my initial lack of interest, I'm glad Bobby Carrot Forever turned out to be more satisfying than expected. It's not an innovative game that all puzzle fans should rush out and buy, but it is still worth trying.

    Bobby Carrot Forever is a simple game with a very straightforward objective: collect all of the carrots and make it to the goal. You'll guide a brown-coloured rabbit in each level, dodging traps and planning your route carefully so you don't wind up getting stuck or killing off the plump creature. There's nothing special about the main character in the sense that he doesn't have any special moves at his disposal like a laser gun or even a jump ability. All you'll be doing is moving him around the stage, activating triggers and whatnot as he makes contact with them.

    
As is to be expected, the game features easy-to-understand controls. To control the character on-screen, players hold the Wii Remote sideways, using the D-Pad to move him around the field during play and using the 1 Button to make selections when jumping from menu to menu. The responsiveness of his movements isn't dead-on, but at the same time, it's not worth making a big fuss over. Pressing the Minus Button will adjust the camera view so you can get a better look at the entire level, while the Plus Button will bring up the Pause Menu. From there, you can activate the Quicksave option, which initiates a temporary save state that you can go back to whenever you get stuck. Alternatively, you can simply press the A Button to do it without pulling up the menu. Other than that, there's nothing else that you need to keep in mind when it comes to controls.


    At the start of the game, only the first world is accessible, but after speaking with the wizard at the main hub, all six worlds will be available for selection. Instead of making you unlock harder sets of levels as you go along, you are given the option of starting at any world you please. You can even bounce back and forth between worlds whenever you find yourself stuck on a particular puzzle, which is a plus. Each world features 10 levels for you to complete, with 2 very simply bonus collect-a-thon's to break things up a tad. Clearing all stages will award you with one of six Golden Carrots that go towards your overall progress in the game.

    I
n addition to having a bunch of carrots lying around in each level, you'll also find coins that can grant you access to bonus levels or be redeemed for purchases at the Item Shop. One of these unlocks is a pair of running shoes that can make your character walk a bit faster. Other tools made available from the start include a shovel for clearing snow-covered paths, as well as petroleum cans that can activate a speedy lawnmower for running over bushes with items hiding inside. There's even a kite pick-up that allows you to use mini-tornadoes as launch points towards X-marked spots on the map.


    There are plenty of stage gimmicks that appear as you go along. A large portion of these are things you've likely seen before, like switch-controlled blocks that appear in multiple colours, spike traps that strike after you've moved off of them, and wooden planks that disappear as you cross over to the next space. But there are some more interesting things to watch out for. One of these is a red dragon that spews a ball of fire when you step on its tail. The flame can melt ice blocks dead-ahead, but sometimes you'll need to use mirrors for it to reach ones that seem out of reach.

    Other
situations have you using switch-activated pinwheels to blow clouds into place so you can use them as platforms, magic beans that turn into climbable beanstalks, as well as rotating carousel stones that change direction as you come out on the other side. Some elements like conveyor belts and water currents direct movement for you, when walking on land or while floating on lilypads respectively.
Bobby Carrot Forever isn't all unique, but the little touches here and there make the game feel a little more inspired than a mere copycat of other like-natured games.

    As you can imagine, with some gimmicks there's no turning back once you've made use of them, while others will permanently be accessible so long as you can get to them again. So in all cases, planning is important. It doesn't take long for the game to present somewhat challenging puzzles, even in the easier worlds. And so, you're exposed to this kind of think-before-you-act mentality very early on. To make sure you think, well, logically about each level and the order in which you need to do things, some dud gimmicks have been included in certain stages for the sole purpose of throwing you off. You won't have to use them to reach the correct path to the goal, but if you just rush into things, these may lead you to a dead-end.

    
Thanks to the Quicksave feature there's like no frustration to be had -- except on levels where you've seemingly tried everything but can't figure out the solution. Normally, logic puzzles tend to frustrate certain gamers more easily so that's definitely something worth taking note of. Most logic puzzles are also known to bestow players with feelings of satisfaction when they can finally arrive at a solution on their own -- something that remains true here as well. It's a great feeling when a solution formulates in your head ahead of time and you pull off the different steps with little hesitation. Even if you don't find the game to be lots of fun, these moments will likely be the highlight of your overall experience.


    There is some reason to return to levels you've completed as there are some secrets you can discover with the right tools in your possession. But for the most part you won't find yourself looking back at any individual stage thinking how enjoyable it was to work out a clever solution or anything like that. After clearing all 120 levels successfully (or even before that), you can head to the Train Station and purchase DLC to extend the experience further. There are five packs you can buy, each priced at 500 Points. The pricing is a little high for my tastes, but if families find themselves coming back to the game on a regular basis, purchasing one of the five sets wouldn't be a bad thing to do.

    
One thing I wasn't too happy about was the way the game led me to believe I would visit unique locations, when, in actuality, none of the worlds feel different from one another. Don't think that the titles on each world (like Niagara Falls and Chinese Whispers) mean anything. Most often it just boils down to four different environments that are recycled amongst all worlds, and that's not very appealing.


    More on the matter of presentation, the stage designs don't have much depth to them from a visual standpoint. Everything seems to take place on a flat plane with no visible hierarchy to separate different height levels. Going back to the mirrors I mentioned earlier, I initially thought it was a little weird that I had to step on top of them to adjust the angle instead of grabbing onto them. Additionally, I found some of the environmental elements such as trees and candy canes took up needless space on the field (two spaces instead of one), but usually this wasn't that big of a nuisance. On the other side of things, I wasn't pleased with the music. The audio is dull and somewhat annoying, easily resembling that of an educational game on a computer. I actually took the step of muting the music altogether periodically, but others may not have to take such action. All things considered, the developers could have put forth stronger effort in this category to give the game more pizzazz.

    Recognizing its origins as a mobile game doesn't detract from the worth or enjoyment of this title at all. The game takes a bit of a hit for not having stronger presentation values, but that shouldn't deter you from getting the game. Bobby Carrot Forever doesn't stand out nor does it provide an experience that's full of joy, but if you consider yourself a fan of logic puzzles, then you should be just about content with FDG Entertainment's modest puzzler.


21/30 - Good

Gameplay 7/10 - Very straightforward, simple controls, some of the stage gimmicks and tools are interesting, Quicksave feature
Presentation 6/10 - Annoying music, stage designs are flat with little depth, the worlds you visit recycle the same environments
Enjoyment 3/5 - Satisfying when you figure out a solution on your own, doesn't take long before the challenge kicks in, practically no frustration to be had
Extra Content 5/5 - Lots of levels for $5, small secrets to discover in worlds you've already cleared, downloadable stages for 500 Points each

Equivalent to a score of 70% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Review by KnucklesSonic8



Bobby Carrot Forever
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