It would appear that Homer Simpson and this bird have similarly sized brains.
Neko Entertainment’s previous DSiWare release, the photo-manipulation application Faceez, ultimately proved to be a major letdown, despite having lots of potential. However, the developer has bounced back, teaming up with Alien After All to create a simply adorable action puzzle title featuring Dodos and cute little smiley eggs. Read on to find out what makes DodoGo! such a special experience.
Set in the Cretaceous period, a tidal wave sweeps across Domo Island, sending the Dodo species into turmoil, with all their remaining eggs scattered across the land, leaving them prone to consumption by a dastardly hungry and sneaky predator that will stop at nothing to get its teeth around them. It is up to you, along with your trusty stylus, to return them back home to safety. Thus begins the adventure, filled with supremely cute animation, impressive 2D visuals with stages full of variety and characters that are simply loveable. The soundtrack complements the action perfectly as well, with Caribbean-esque lilting tunes throughout that make playing through all the levels a joyous experience. Before even jumping into the core game itself, Alien After All and Neko Entertainment’s DodoGo! sets the mood for this intriguing action puzzle game perfectly with its impressive audio and visual combination.
The game plays rather like a mix between Lemmings and Mario vs. Donkey Kong in that players have to guide the little eggs from one part of a stage to another, finding the best path possible by holding the stylus on the touch-screen and dragging the camera around a stage, then activating them with a swipe of the stylus, shouting ‘Go’ into the microphone or tapping a few times on an area you wish them to move to, and then keeping an eye out for the smiley-faced eggs as they begin bouncing and rolling along automatically. However, they will simply keep going in one direction until they hit an obstacle, or fall to their doom off into an abyss. Therefore, another quick swipe/shout/tap is required to halt them and allow for movement in another direction.
There is another caveat, though, in the form of successful completion of a level only being possible if all the eggs are super happy. There are several cases where there will be one or two happy eggs, whilst the rest are grumpy or sad. In cases like this, merely moving the upset ones next to the happier eggs will result in the elation being passed on. Then all the eggs together can merrily head towards the nest at the end of the stage. Sometimes all the eggs will be hypnotised or even in a state of panic, so drawing the stylus upwards on them is necessary and will cause the camera to zoom right in and allow for direct interaction between player and egg. Tapping a few times on an egg will wake it up from its trance, whilst doing some nintendogs-like rubbing and stroking will calm down the hyper ones.
The goal is to save at least one egg per level, yet obviously the more saved the better. Should you be totally unable to save anything, a joker can be used to skip a level, although these are in limited supply. It must also be remembered that eggs are indeed fragile, thus having them drop from great heights is not recommended! Dropping them onto ‘decks’ (mid-air platforms, pretty much, or bridges in some instances) is the preferred safe method. These decks are weak, though, meaning after an egg has landed it will immediately break. A deck can also be used as a vertical wall to stop an egg from rolling off a cliff edge, or as a ramp, being placed diagonally so an egg can roll up it and launch across large gaps towards safe harbour. Some stages already have decks in preset locations, yet in others you will have to draw them in yourself using the in-game toolbox, which allows for a certain number of decks to be placed wherever you desire, erasing erroneously drawn ones whilst still in the editing mode (once you ‘confirm’ their positions, they cannot be removed without having an egg touch them and no replacement is given).
In situations where no decks are to be found, or they have been placed in the wrong position, an egg will crack slightly when falling and will become resultantly sad. Time to zoom in again! This time Trauma Center takes over, with players having to pick up plasters and place them carefully on the egg, using the stylus to then smooth them out until the egg is properly patched up and happy once more. That is not all - there are even more tools to play around with, since DodoGo! tries its best to offer gamers plenty of diversity. For instance, springs can be placed around a level, with the player determining the angle and strength of each one so that eggs can again safely traverse the land, evading any potentially hazardous obstacles en route. In this respect, DodoGo! bears a massive resemblance to the level creator section of both the DS Mario vs. Donkey Kong and its DSiWare companion, which is testament to the development team as it is held together with a charm that normally only Nintendo can truly provide.
All of the above must be done against the clock on each level, with medals being doled out upon completion, with gold, silver and bronze ones up for grabs, as well as a special golden award for when all eggs have been rescued, all secrets uncovered and specific times have been beaten. As you progress through the stages, sometimes bonus levels will become unlocked, which each contain a ‘Robo-Egg’ that looks like a Crash Test Dummy, with a black and yellow marker on it. This Robo-Egg must be guided to the nest as normal, but with the added task of collecting special tokens along the way. Any tools must be used before these stages start since the Robo-Eggs automatically advance once everything is set in place and more items cannot be placed once it has started moving, meaning some very careful pre-planning is imperative (and multiple attempts definitely required, although thankfully it retains the previous position of your items so everything does not need to be started from scratch, merely tweaked). After the first of these bonus levels is unlocked, so is the opportunity to use this Robo-Egg feature in the standard mode, helping with the pre-planning process, trying out your amendments to a level. Considering how there are numerous ways to reach the nest, as well as plenty of ideas that will look good to start with, but fail miserably in the end, this practice run option will prevent too much frustration from creeping in after successive failures.
DodoGo! does a fantastic job of guiding the player through its features step-by-step. Rather than bombarding people with all of the tutorials right at the very start, the gameplay eases players in, sprinkling small explanations around every now-and-then to make the game as accessible as possible to all demographic groups. The wealth of tools available to augment the already cleverly laid out stages will appeal to those that love to express their creativity in games (a particular favourite is a brush that can whip up a dust storm, blinding other animals around a stage, leading them to make mistakes that are of benefit to you and your eggs!), whilst the learning curve is set perfectly right so as to not scare off anyone that merely wants to enjoy the simple-yet-addictive puzzle adventure right in front of them. Other than the bonus stages, there are around 100 standard levels, new costumes to unlock for the eggs and various other rewards that make what might initially seem like a hefty 800 Points price-tag actually appear as really good value considering it will last longer than several full priced retail DS releases!
The development team has mixed in touch-screen and standard controls, as well as use of the microphone to give players plenty of input options, as well as offering varied levels and a wealth of tools to interact with each stage to ensure the right path is created for the vulnerable eggs to reach their nest.
Cute animations, loveable characters and charming little eggs that portray a wide range of emotions, all set to colourful, inventive backgrounds full of life and energy.
From the initial theme song, to the Caribbean lilting tunes and adorable little sound effects, DodoGo! is a pleasure to listen to.
Not only are there around 100 standard levels, there are numerous bonus stages, unlockable features and even the ability to obtain a ranking code upon completion for use on the game’s official website to track your worldwide standing. 800 Points may seem steep, but there is without doubt sufficient value for money included.
Alien After All and Neko Entertainment have teamed up to craft a splendid action puzzle effort that successfully marries the best elements of other much-loved games, whilst mixing in numerous interesting quirks of its own to help give DodoGo! a unique identity that should appeal to all DSi owners.
It would appear that Homer Simpson and this bird have similarly sized brains.
This is such a fun little game...mixes my favourite elements of Lemmings and Mario vs DK with new stuff I can't wait to see if the idea gets expanded upon even further. This would work nicely on WiiWare as well, I reckon.
Anyone else here played it?
Just bought it today after reading your review and am really enjoying it.
The eggs are cute and the overall presentation is really impressive for a DSiWare title. You can definitely see that this was once a full retail game.
Really worth the price and puts most over DSiWare games to shame.
sounds gud, might get it
My copy of DodoGo! spontaneously changed its internet code, there must be an accidental virus in the game.