DodoGo! Robo (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 26.04.2011 3

Review for DodoGo! Robo on Nintendo DS

Last year the world was treated to one of the freshest puzzle experiences available, in the form of DodoGo! from French developer AlienAfterAll and publisher Neko Entertainment, which saw a sequel hit Europe just in time for Christmas, DodoGo! Challenge. Now the third iteration has landed on the Nintendo DSiWare download service; cheaper than the previous two entries, can DodoGo! Robo live up to the lofty standards set by its predecessors?

Being the third of a planned trilogy of releases, one at each price level on the DSiWare download service (200, 500 and 800 Nintendo Points), the aim with DodoGo! Robo, the cheapest of the three iterations, was for the development team to improve upon the tutorials in the first game, making them shorter and less tiresome to watch, as well as introduce a smoother learning curve than was found in the absolutely rock-solid DodoGo! Challenge, whilst also listening to feedback about how the Robo Egg bonus puzzles from the original DodoGo! were some of the best moments in the DSiWare gem. The result is DodoGo! Robo, a title that introduces new elements to the player through the aid of short sequences that play automatically, yet can be skipped if so desired; one that eases gamers into the puzzle action with simple conundrums before unleashing some devastatingly tricky level design; and an end product that ditches the nintendogs / Mario vs. Donkey Kong-esque multiple egg caring element in favour of a pure Robo Egg puzzle theme. See, developers do listen to feedback!

For this third release, the story takes on a different theme, one that sounds strikingly similar to Terminator. Players are put in the role of a robo-dodo from the future that has travelled back in time to 65 million years in the past. The D-800 robo-dodo is the leader of the Dodo resistance and its mission is to train each dodo to overcome the deadly hazards of the Cretaceous period in order to escape extinction. In order to complete this objective, the D-800 must use its one ally, synthetic replicas of delicate, fragile dodo eggs, known as Robo Eggs.

Screenshot for DodoGo! Robo on Nintendo DS

Players are faced with a wealth of intricately crafted, death-trap filled stages and must find a way to help their little Robo Egg reach the safety of the final goal. This can mean having to traverse treacherous conditions along the way, rolling down steep slopes, trundling along underwater, dodging fiery situations, being blown in various directions, and even launching from platform to platform via tightly wound-up springs. There are numerous hazards to avoid, but with the help of you, the D-800 robo-dodo, and a trusty toolbox filled with extremely useful gear, each Robo Egg will undoubtedly reach its final destination in one piece, with all the special tokens dotted around each level being collected along the way.

This is no easy task, though, and the range of inhospitable environments encountered will require much creativity and a sharp mind to overcome successfully. Manipulating the surroundings is the key to victory, and thankfully there are plenty of tools available to achieve the set target. Each level starts with the camera slowly panning across the whole area to give a brief overview of what to expect before letting the player take full control in order to slowly scroll around and determine how best to use the limited set of tools provided for each stage. Whilst there are many tools to make use of in DodoGo! Robo, not all are up for grabs all the time. Upon starting a new level, only a select few will be available, with a limited number of each one also given. For instance, a particular stage may let players set up a safe run for the Robo Egg using only three decks, two springs and five spades, and it is this enforced limitation that makes the action puzzler more interesting, getting the player to think carefully about how best to use the equipment at hand.

Screenshot for DodoGo! Robo on Nintendo DS

Decks are the basic tool for safe navigation of Robo Eggs, with the thin wooden planks being placed over gaps to prevent falling, at angles to help eggs trundle up small inclines or launch long distances after rolling down a hill, or merely used to partially break a fall to stop an egg dropping too far and cracking upon impact (there are two levels of cracking - short drops can occur twice before having to restart a level, whilst a more severe plummet leads to an instant smash). Brushes are used to start fires on large patches of wood, with the start position being essential in both terms of timing for dropping rocks perched atop sections, as well as ensuring the Robo Egg does not come in close contact with flames for fear of bursting. Spades involve keeping the stylus pressed against the touch-screen to select a soil surface, which is followed by a small trail of smoke appearing at the starting point. The aim here is to both drag dirt over holes to fill them, as well as burrow through areas that would otherwise result in an impasse, and even create lips at the bottom of slopes to allow eggs to launch across wide spaces.

Springs can be placed in the ground or on the side of walls and are essential for flinging eggs in specific directions with the trajectory being determined by the player as the stylus can be dragged around to change the strength and trajectory, within moderation. They also act as a great means of increasing an egg’s travelling speed when required. Saws can be used to cut square chunks from large expanses of wood, which then will drop down to fill in gaps or float on water (moving along with the current in places). They can also be utilised as a means of sawing through rope to release previously stationary items. Fans, somewhat like springs, can be adjusted to blow wind in different directions and at varying strengths. As with springs, though, only those placed by the player can be manipulated. They come in extremely handy when using the wind to blow flames towards wood or rope to burn them away. Finally, switches are particularly intriguing with these electronic devices being hooked up to objects such as rope and axles, springs or even fans, with a switch being turned off as a Robo Egg bounces over it. In the case where a switch is connected to some decks, when turned off they are stable, yet when turned on they are immediately destroyed.

Screenshot for DodoGo! Robo on Nintendo DS

DodoGo! itself was a stunning DSiWare release, and easily one of the best releases on Nintendo’s DSi download service in 2010, despite its hefty 800 Point price-tag. This third entry into the already burgeoning series, DodoGo! Robo, comes in at a much more pocket-friendly 200 Nintendo Points, yet is still packed to the brim with features, tough levels, some stunning stage design, and plenty of replay value for those wanting to both reach the finale and collect every single one of the in-game tokens found in each area. It is difficult to even imagine what else the development team could have crammed into this sublime game.

Those who have played small 200 Point DSiWare releases such as Bird and Bombs or Pyoro will know that great fun can come from replaying the small puzzle offerings repeatedly. However, DodoGo! Robo is an entirely different beast, serving up forty levels of goodness, many of which will have you pulling your hair out in sheer desperation as you try and try again to find the exact manner in which to keep the Robo Egg safe on its bumbling journey towards the finish line. Thankfully there are infinite continues available and no time-limit during stages, meaning that players can use all the tools at their disposal for a particular level to set up the clear-run, hit the ‘Play’ button to send the Robo Egg on its way, and quickly hit ‘Pause’ to go back to the editing mode when it becomes apparent the egg is not heading in the right direction, or is about to meet with impending doom. The whole process of editing, playing, re-editing, testing again, and tweaking to perfection is a fast, simple and highly intuitive process that prevents any frustration or tedium creeping in. DodoGo! Robo is a stunning success in all areas and lifts itself above the two previous iterations with ease to become the DodoGo! champion, and a thorough delight for any DSi-owning gamers.

Screenshot for DodoGo! Robo on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

AlienAfterAll and Neko Entertainment have out-done themselves with DodoGo! Robo. Some may think that three entries into a series in roughly a year might be overkill, but this third iteration takes the original formula, tweaks it to perfection and delivers changes requested by fans themselves to serve up one of the most delicious gaming dishes for gamers to tuck-in to on the DSiWare download service. At a mere 200 Points, DodoGo! Robo is even better value than Nintendo’s releases at the same price-point!

Developer

Alien After All

Publisher

Neko

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

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   

Comments

Great Review! Smilie

I loved the Robo sections in the first DodoGo so wasted no time getting this one. I skipped the second game as it sounded too difficult and I've yet to finish the first game due to the difficulty. Smilie

Thanks Ifrit Smilie I have to admit that I *was* going to review DodoGo! Challenge, but sadly couldn't even get past the first level successfully due to it being FAR too hard.

DodoGo! had some great levels, and DodoGo! Robo is simply stunning throughout. Maybe one day I'll get the nerve to return to DodoGo! Challenge...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]
Robo Dodo (guest) 28.04.2011#3

This is brilliant - far better than the others because I could actually complete some stages! Smilie

Why don't they do a DodoGo! Trilogy pack on WiiWare? Re-fit the touch-screen controls with pointer ones and that'd be fine.

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