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Armillo (Wii U eShop) Review

Review for Armillo on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

What's better than a game starring an armadillo as the lead character? That's right, a game featuring an armadillo in space! Armillo is a puzzle-platformer developed by indie studio Fuzzy Wuzzy Games, in which players take on the role of the titular character and roll around several planets; rescuing Critters and wiping out Darkbots throughout his journey. The game has had a pretty lengthy development time, also being subject to a few delays. Did those delays help the quality of the game and was it worth the wait? Read on to find out!

In Armillo, players take control of a space-dwelling armadillo of the same name whose planet has been invaded by the evil Darkbots. Many of the inhabitants get encased in crystal and it is up to him to rescue his buddies and save the day!

This is not the standard platform affair - it all feels a bit like a combination of Super Mario Galaxy and Super Monkey Ball, with Armillo himself being much like Sonic the Hedgehog. Roll, jump, and dash around the various planets on offer, saving Critters and eliminating any Darkbots on the way. Each level has a set path, which is indicated by the use of walls and barriers placed around the planet. There are, however, multiple paths in some levels that are only made accessible once a certain power has been purchased from Critter Corner.

Throughout the planets there are teleportation devices scattered around, which send the protagonist to a parallel universe when he rolls over them -- he can only survive for a short period of time in this dimension, which makes for an interesting gameplay mechanic as there are puzzles to be solved and obstacles to overcome in these areas. Similarly, there is a timed event at the end of each level known as the "Dark Moon" - essentially a bonus stage of sorts where a large amount of orbs can be acquired. The orbs collected during the Dark Moon and throughout the planets can then be spent in the shop.

Screenshot for Armillo on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Critter Corner can be visited when on the Level Select screen by simply tapping up on the D-pad. In here, players can access the shop, see statistics about the currently selected file and also access the secret stages.

Several useful items can be purchased from the store, such as upgrades to Armillo's health and lives, items that yield more time in the Dark Moon and parallel universe, a power-up that makes nearby orbs fly to the character whenever the boost is used, as well as items that make it possible to destroy special blocks, meaning earlier levels can be replayed and new areas accessed.

Secret levels are unlocked by finding Orb Cubes in many of the main levels and are played in a 2D perspective, also equipping Armillo with the ability to perform a double jump, allowing him to reach higher places than in the 3D levels. The 2D stages make the game play more like a traditional platformer, with a time limit tacked on to artificially increase the difficulty.

Unfortunately, the frame-rate takes a dip occasionally, even in the most unlikely places. This is due to the current method that is used to load the game's assets into the buffer memory. Fuzzy Wuzzy Games has acknowledged this and stated that it is currently working on a patch to fix these issues. In the meantime though, it has kindly asked that players simply replay the level after the assets have been loaded, as this eliminates most of the issues.

Screenshot for Armillo on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Roll around various different planets in the 3D levels, using Armillo's dash attack to take care of any obstacles in his way. The 2D levels also equip the protagonist with a double jump, allowing him to reach new heights and make the way to the exit.

Graphics

The environments in Armillo look great, in particular the 3D ones. The 2D secret stages are fairly simple from a visual standpoint, but the main stages use a variety of different themes and look beautiful.

Sound

The game features an awesome soundtrack, which consists of upbeat techno tunes for the 3D levels and catchy chiptunes for the 2D levels. There is a great balance between the two styles and the soundtrack is possibly one of the best aspects of Armillo.

Value

With five sectors, each featuring four planets (or levels), Armillo definitely has a decent amount of content in just the main chunk of the game. There are, however, plenty of collectibles to be found that also unlock special, 2D stages.

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

For around the same price as a large extra value meal at McDonald's, Armillo provides a much better value and also doesn't pile on the pounds. Great for those who want to keep that beach figure for the summer! Going back on track, this unique title about a fluffy space armadillo is definitely one of the hottest games on the Wii U eShop right now, technical issues aside. For those who love space, puzzles and armadillos, Armillo is the best possible title to match those needs. Although the game currently has frame-rate problems, Fuzzy Wuzzy Games has quickly acknowledged this and is already hard at work creating a fix.

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01.08.2014

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Developer

Fuzzy Wuzzy

Publisher

Fuzzy Wuzzy

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

For anyone reading this, we have an interview with the developer coming up soon, so any questions you may have will hopefully be covered in that! Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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