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AceGamez Review: Boing! Docomodake DS

AceGamez: " The name Boing! Docomodake DS screams Japan; what western developers would use a word that no one knows the meaning to as the title of their game? But it's not just the name that brings Japanese thoughts to mind, as the gameplay and design of Boing! only makes it even more niche. This could be a good thing though, as there have been plenty of Japanese style games that have fared well on the duel screen system. Sadly this isn't the case with Docomodake DS as the game fails to reach beyond 'neat idea' status on all fronts.

The entire game revolves around a single mechanic, albeit one that starts off very interesting. You control Papa Docomodake, a mushroom with the uncanny ability to split into an array of smaller mushrooms, a skill that you must use to find the rest of your family scattered across the land. As a story, it's obvious that Boing! is catering to the younger members of the DS community, a trait that seeps into the gameplay. Your abilities all originate from this simple technique, with the puzzles, platforming and combat revolving around the smaller versions of the fungi you control. The whole mechanic feels remarkably similar to the PSP classic LocoRoco, which the developers obviously take cues from throughout the game, but while Sony's PSP title used the mechanic in an interesting way, here the level design and length of the game undermine it.

The game is split into five zones, ala Super Mario World, but within each of these there are eight levels. These can barely be regarded as levels though, with some being more like single screens in a usual game. The levels seem to blend into one another, thanks to the seemingly invisible changes in textures and music throughout the game. This means that while there are forty levels in the game, you can complete the adventure in a single hour; the lack of multiplayer only makes this figure even more disheartening."

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