Review: Spotto! (DSiWare)

Boom boom pow

When it comes to downloadable game output, Intelligent Systems is on a roll. They’ve launched us to the moon, single-handedly blasted pollution into nothingness and took a few turns around some dragon war. Now they’ve got us chucking bombs into the mouths of ghosts in Spotto! And while it may be their smallest effort yet, it manages to stand tall among the rest of DSiWare’s library with excellent execution of a simple premise.

The pastel presentation looks ripped from a storybook and cements the notion that Spotto! doesn’t take itself seriously one bit. Characters are on the goofy side and the audio sounds lifted from a toy warfare cartoon, with your bird suffering from Pokémon syndrome by yelling his own name all the time. Spotto! also boasts one of the most porn-riffic character names around with Chikkie Wowwow, the president's daughter who was kidnapped by the ghosts. Are you a bad enough bom_bird_ier to rescue her?

Spotto! has a lot of things going for it, with the most important being its addictive nature. It plays a lot like a simpler Reflect Missile/Trajectile; line up your bomb toss trajectory and try to either swoosh a ghost’s mouth directly or bank a bomb off the environment into one. Each stage gives you five bombs to start off with, but you only lose one if you miss a ghost.

Unlike Reflect Missile’s occasionally hokey aiming system, which often led to cancelled shots if you removed the stylus too early, you crank a little wheel on the bottom screen and tap to toss. It’s more consistent, but unlike in Reflect Missile you don’t always have a clear indication of where your bomb will land. It’s not really a knock per se, since aiming is where the challenge stems from, but until you get the hang of how the system works you’ll be tossing a lot of whiffers and lose a few too many bombs than you otherwise should. Once you do you'll be the Michael Jordan of ghost killing.

With 50 stages there's a decent amount of content to sink your teeth into, and perfectionists and score junkies alike will get a kick out of the Challenge mode where you're given 10 bombs and play until you run out. The problem is the stages aren't really that difficult; perfect for younger gamers but won't pose much of a threat to seasoned players. Medals are absent, as is completion time records and a level editor. Some games just beg for level editors and Spotto! is one of them.


For a mere 200 points you certainly get a lot of bang for your duck, and if you became hopelessly addicted to Reflect Missile/Trajectile then you’ll likely find yourself hooked until the end. The problem is the end comes fairly soon and doesn't offer much incentive to return, which is a terrible fate for a puzzle game like this. Spotto! is fun while it lasts, we just wish this bird had stronger wings.

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