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Incoming! - WiiWare Review

Game Info

WiiWare | JV Games Inc. | 1-2 Players (local multiplayer) | Out Now (North America) | 500 Nintendo Points
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote (pointer)
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3rd January 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

Since its inception, the WiiWare service has had a way of bringing simple, yet fun concepts into the hands of gamers. Even some computer-based games have hit the service in efforts of appealing to a new audience and thereby taking advantage of the advantage this presents to new developers. Here comes Incoming: a simple strategy, light-action game that fits half that bill. While the game has no PC origins to speak of, its simplistic approach in gameplay and presentation certainly make it appear as though it first had birth as a flash game. Has JV Games learned from the mistakes of their first game to deliver a more worthwhile gaming experience, or should the game get shot down?

    The main premise of the game is to use various items at your disposal to eliminate your opponent's army. To start with, you will only have one unit but gradually your army will increase in size. You have a couple of items to attack your enemies with, the main weapon being a simple cannonball. To activate it couldn't be easier: simply select your unit and whilst holding the A Button, aim the Wii Remote in the direction you'd like to aim towards. As you aim the Wii Remote, an on-screen arrow appears to give you an idea of where the cannonball is headed, then simply release. When aiming, while you must take into account the angle at which you fire the cannonball, it's all done rather simply and that lends itself to a working control scheme. Thankfully, there aren't any environment hazards to complicate things so that's good. Your units won't just stand there in place while they're being shot at and it's great that you're actually able to move them. By selecting a unit with the A Button, you can move it backwards or forwards along the attack line and an on-screen flag shows you exactly where your character will move to. 

Right off the bat, you'll quickly notice how barebones the game really is and you'll come to realize that this is reflected in the game's menu screens and in the overall presentation. The game has a single-player mode and a multiplayer-mode, and other than the obvious Credits List, that's all there is to speak of. The sound effects, the character models, the music - all of it is very basic and hardly memorable. Those who are interested in the game should exercise some caution as this may be disappointing for some.

    There are roughly 4 different environments where gameplay takes place but these are mostly there just for the sake of not having gameplay take place over a blank canvas. The environments don't mix up the gameplay in any way and while it's a plus that the same environment isn't used all the way through, it would've been more interesting if they were a bit more appealing and lively.

    The game is clearly intended for short bursts as some may grow a tad weary of it rather quickly. Thankfully, there are varying gameplay elements that improve the gameplay and make it more enjoyable just when you feel like you've seen all there is to see. As you progress in the single-player mode, your opponent will gradually get tougher, you'll be able to use new units and more items, and even unlock said items for multiplayer. For example, after being able to use all 3 ground units, you'll be able to use different items to deal more damage to your opponents. The typical items you would see in similar games can be found here as well -- bigger cannonballs, multiple cannonballs, homing missiles, a devestating bomb and more. These items will appear during gameplay as targets falling from the sky at random moments. Eventually, you'll also be granted use of an aerial unit, a satellite that can protect you from enemy fire. Once again, you simply aim the on-screen cursor and press A to lock in the co-ordinates and the satellite will fire a weapon of its own that, when aimed correctly, can be used to destroy otherwise unstoppable projectiles.

By the time you are able to use all of the game's available units, the gameplay changes significantly from when you first started playing. The biggest and most noticeable change is that the gameplay overall gets a tad chaotic but it doesn't get to the point that it's unplayable. All of the gameplay changes that occur over the course of the single-player mode make it so that the game doesn't become repetitive and while the basic premise still remains, the ability to use different items at your disposal is great. With the number of things that go on at once, this allows the player to develop their own tactics and strategies (knowing when to move ground units, when to fire missiles, etc.) and naturally, this fact carries over to the game's multiplayer mode. It's great to see that the developers didn't make it so that gameplay got overwhelming with accompanying frustration. 

    If you haven't already noticed by now, the entire game is basically mapped to the use of the A Button and while this may seem a tad simplistic, it works well here. Think for a second if there were multiple controls for each aspect of the game (a button to fire missiles, a button to activate the satellite, a button to move units). Considering all that's going on at once, the game definitely would not have been as enjoyable and it probably would've been rather messy. Thankfully this isn't the case and it makes for a very user-friendly experience that anyone can get used to rather quickly.

    The multiplayer component contains the same gameplay described above, but battles can be toggled to the type of match you would like to have. You can set the number of matches (best of 3, 5, 7, 9 or even 12 for the adventurous), the number of units, and which items will appear. Being able to play against a friend makes for really engaging gameplay especially with so much going on at once. Each player is bound to develop their own strategies to land and avoid hits.

    The game is clearly meant to be a multiplayer experience but that doesn't mean that the single-player component is completely worthless. In fact, the very opposite is true. Not only does it work rather well being able to face the computer but it also makes for a great training ground for multiplayer, being able to harness your skills and grow accustomed to everything there is to know about the game. It's just that some may give up early on and may tire of it all after a few rounds but those who go back and stick with it will definitely notice the gameplay improve.

It's hard to say for sure whether or not someone will enjoy this game. The game can be quite enjoyable and simple enough for younger and older audiences alike so it has that kind of appeal especially for families - the very target market this game is geared towards. Others may not be as forgiving and may criticize the simplistic nature of it all. It's all really relative and for that reason, this game is hard to recommend. If you enjoyed playing games of a similar nature such as Defend Your Castle, you may very well like what's on offer here. If you go in with low expectations, you may find yourself surprisingly pleased with what JV Games has done here and for only 500 Points, the game provides an engaging multiplayer experience for those who stick with it.

18/30 - Okay/Average

Gameplay 7/10 - No technical flaws to speak of, controls are easy to understand, difficulty ramps up gradually adding new gameplay elements
Presentation 6/10 - Barebones presentation, basic sound effects and forgettable music, functions are easy to follow
Enjoyment 3/5 - Single-player can be enjoyable as the computer gets tougher, multiplayer makes for some engaging and tense battles
Extra Content 2/5 - Only two modes to speak of and that's it, replay value stems entirely from multiplayer

Equivalent to a score of 60% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

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