There are many different types of GoGo's Crazy Bones games out there based on Magic Box International's range of collectible toys that rose to fame in the 1990s originally and continued to top collectable sales charts around the world for many years after. However, this particular Nintendo DS effort from Black Lantern Games aims to help the brand break into the casual market Nintendo has tapped into by mimicking a familiar gaming phenomenon.
The Angry Birds craze took the world by storm and the obvious repercussions were that there would be pretenders to the throne at some point. In all honesty, Rovio's series is highly addictive under the right conditions, but definitely tends to play better as a throwaway experience; basically a way to pass the time, playing on a mobile whilst on public transport or even the toilet. Confining it to a console removes some of the fun factor, and even though the Nintendo DS is not exactly hefty, it does not quite have the same five-to-ten minute 'whip it out' factor as a smartphone.
Therefore, take away the 'instant' impact of the game, strip away the characters to replace them with that of some children's toy fad, offer up low quality visuals, a couple of annoying pieces of music, and drag the gameplay down by somehow reducing the enjoyment of getting the correct trajectory before firing towards the obstacles / enemies, and that pretty much describes GoGo's Crazy Bones.
That comes across as far too negative, though, which in part goes a long way to showing how great Angry Birds can be and how this is nothing more than a mere imitator, and one that is really not as good and also comes with a far higher entry-level price with less content. That does not mean there is a complete lack of fun to be had! There are five worlds to work through, each with five stages within and three challenges per stage.
'Battle' see players choose a team of five GoGo characters, each of which has slightly different skills, before trying to guess the correct trajectory using the stylus and letting them fly, one-by-one, towards other GoGos on the other side of the playing field, hopefully breaking through whatever protection is built up around them to destroy them before all five player characters have been used up. After firing the first one, a trail of dots shows the path taken to help re-adjust for the next round, yet since each GoGo has different statistics, it makes it tough to do so since unless the next in line is pretty much the same, re-adjusting removes all skill and simply relies on sheer guesswork.
The Battle theme is followed by two other styles; one requires each GoGo to be launched into a basket to get the highest score and the other needs superb accuracy to knock other GoGos out of boxes. Depending on the level of success, up to three stars can be accrued per event, with a total of forty-five to gain per world and new GoGo characters being unlocked, as well as subsequent worlds opening up the more stars are amassed. The novelty starts to wear thin after a while, despite some inventive stage creation, and it is sorely missing a multiplayer mode and online ranking feature, plus the price is too high, ranging from £14.99 to £19.99, depending where it is bought.
Whilst moderately addictive at first, Gogo's Crazy Bones does not reach the same level of addictiveness as Angry Birds, with not as much variety included for the higher price. The concept works in principle, but sadly some of the allure of the mobile phone-based title it sources is lost in this DS version of the theme.