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Roogoo Twisted Towers - Wii Review

Game Info
Roogoo Twisted Towers

Wii | SouthPeak Games | 1 Player / 2-4 Players (local multiplayer) / 2-4 Players (co-operative play) | Out Now
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote and Nunchuk
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24th June 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

The Wii has been the home of many unique puzzle games on the retail and even the downloadable side of things. And because I'm a fan of this genre, I'm always willing to try some new ideas that try to add to the genre. However, games like these can easily get overlooked by the masses if it weren't for the Internet, whereby you can read about the experiences of others who enjoyed or didn't enjoy the game. When I first heard about Roogoo Twisted Towers, it sounded rather promising, especially with the possibilities for connections between the DS and Wii versions. Now that I've had a chance to actually play it, though, I can definitely see that SouthPeak Games put some effort into this so it wouldn't be quickly forgotten. But does that necessarily lead to memorable gameplay? This is a question I struggled to come to terms with as I played this game. 

    The premise involves controlling disk-shaped platforms to stack coloured shapes inside designated holes. When you enter the first few levels, the disks will be positioned in a linear, vertical format. But as you move further and further away from the Tutorial world, you'll notice some slight changes, though the main gimmick does remain the same. Shapes will begin to come down from the disk closest to the top of the screen and it's your job to put it into the corresponding hole on the platform. On certain platforms, you'll need to stack a given number of shapes before you can proceed to the next one. If you manage to bring stacked shapes into the bottom disk, you'll complete that set of shapes, and locking all shape sets into place will garner a victory.

The falling shapes are always controlled automatically, so all you need to worry about are the platforms themselves. You can press the B Button to spin them clockwise, or the Z Button on the Nunchuk for a counter-clockwise motion. The rate of descent can be increased by holding the C Button or the Down button on the Control Pad. This can be especially useful if you find the action to be a tad slow. And for the first couple stages, you'll likely find this to be the case. However, later levels introduce additional shape holes, as well as having multiple shapes fall at once, so you'll need to stay alert. 

    You're also equipped with a special net that appears as you point at the screen. This can be used to capture bats and butterflies within the vicinity. If you're not careful, lurking enemies will take shapes away to impede your progress. Whenever you put a shape into the wrong hole, they will bounce out with a negative sound effect and fall towards the ground. This will also add to the meter on the left - if it fills to the top, your game end. However, you can use your equipped net to save them before they are out of your reach. At the end of a level, sometimes you'll experience a bonus event for all the captures you made whereby shapes will fall towards the bottom disk in quick succession. This part felt like it was just thrown in and I didn't find it to be all that great.

    More gimmicks also come into place as you advance through stages. Sometimes purple creatures, known as Meemoos, will block holes, preventing access to them. You can only open up these areas by making the shapes fall at a faster speed, with the goal of knocking them on the noggin'. At other times, you'll need to drill through a sealed hole, and the only way to break through this is by shaking the Wii Remote back and forth. These are just a few examples of the different elements you'll encounter that make the game more varied, and less of a repetitive affair. 

The game's Story Mode is presented in the form of a World Map consisting of multiple environments. All of them are really predictable and if you've played lots of game over the years, you'll likely notice how familiar the environments are - going underwater, entering into outer space, and even going inside a whale (Super Monkey Ball 2, much?). When you choose a destination, a menu will pop up presenting you with a list of stages to choose from. Sometimes there will be images beside the level numbers to give you an idea of what to expect. Whether it be a boss, a bonus level, or a skydiving mini-game.

    Out of all the normal stages, I found that the best stages had rotating disks that weren't in a straight line, but were instead placed on walls in a zigzag, jumpy sort of fashion. Still, I appreciated the fact that you weren't always stacking shapes throughout the experience. There was a decent amount of variety when it comes to the different levels they included to mix things up. One of these were the regular skydiving segments. During this mini-game, you'd use the Nunchuk to control your character by moving in a circle, either clockwise or counter-clockwise. The idea was to gather shapes in the sky whilst using star-shaped attacks to protect yourself against enemies. These were kind of fun, albeit the action was jittery at times which brought down my enjoyment of it.

However, even with all of these different elements to make the game more interesting, don't be surprised if you still find the game to be a tad weak in terms of excitement level. As mentioned before, the initial stages themselves start you off by introducing gameplay mechanics rather well. However, even after the Tutorial world, some stages are still pretty slow, and it can get quite repetitive. Of course you do have the ability to speed things up or make the game more challenging, but I just felt that the game failed to bring a sense of addictiveness that makes many puzzle games so replayable.

    Although the gameplay won't be suitable to the way a lot of people like to play games, Roogoo Twisted Towers definitely had a cutesy visual focus. I found the music to be alright, and there was even a theme that reminded me of something I'd hear in a Chao Garden from the Sonic games. The characters, the shapes, even the enemies are really lovable and appealing. So at least the game has that going for it.

    Those who appreciate the concept from the get-go will likely get pretty far in the game, especially since there's well over 70 stages in total. On each stage, you can aim for a high-score or set a goal towards achieving two different medals. As if this wasn't enough, there's also the ability to experience connectivity with the DS version of this game for additional levels. This means, then, that there are over 100 stages in total, which is quite impressive (provided, of course, that you don't grow tired of the game by the Stage 30). The game allows you to play through the Story Mode, not only on your own, but also co-operatively with a friend. And I thought this a nice feature that made a lot of sense.

If you're looking for something more involved, though, up to 4 players can participate in Party Play. Here, players will constantly switch roles between who's controlling nets and who's rotating the towers, which was quite interesting. Plus, all levels are available from the start, a nice plus for those who don't want to sit through unlocking everything. Finally, there's Split-Screen Race, where you battle to see who can be the first one to complete a given level. On occasion, you'll even be awarded power-ups that can make things more difficult for your rival. I can see people having fun with this, so long as it's a fairly even playing field. Otherwise, it likely won't be very enjoyable.

    Roogoo Twisted Towers is a pretty good mix of ideas and gameplay mechanics, but at the end of the day, it still falls short of some of the other, more compelling puzzle games on the Wii. Still, I highly recommend that you give this game a rental. You never know, you might surprise yourself and find this to be a lot of fun. As for me, though, despite the large number of levels and the interesting features it has, I don't see myself returning to or adding Roogoo Twisted Towers to my already-large collection of Wii games.

19/30 - Okay/Average

Gameplay 6/10 - Stack shapes by taking control of towers, controls work great, some variety with different missions, can get boring or repetitive
Presentation 6/10 - Cutesy visuals, skydiving can be jittery at times, decent music, multiple environments albeit they all feel borrowed
Enjoyment 2/5 - If you're not sold from the get-go, you likely won't continue playing, split-screen race is fun as is co-operating with friends
Extra Content 5/5 - An impressive amount of levels, connectivity with the DS release, co-op and multiplayer modes, medals and high-scores

Equivalent to a score of 63% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

Review by KnucklesSonic8
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