Photo Dojo (DSiWare)

Game Review

Photo Dojo Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by James Newton

Well developed

We first played Photo Dojo back at Nintendo’s Media Summit in February, and in the hustle and bustle of the event it was a huge amount of fun. Now it’s out of the O2 and into the hands of gamers everywhere, it’s still a great deal of fun but its flaws are far more apparent.

Photo Dojo is an extremely simplistic fighting game that involves just one attack button and eight directions. Had it just featured generic fighting game characters it’s likely it would fail to score even in the upper half of the review scale, but the way it uses the DSi’s functions helps it go a lot further.

Before you can punch any pugilists, you have to create your own fighter using the camera and microphone. Taking thirteen photos and ten voice recordings, you sculpt a unique character and here lies the game’s longevity: the potential to create fighters based on anything you can think of is clear. Pirates? Fighting game homages? Robot ninjas wearing tutus? If you can photograph it, you can fight with it.

If you’re playing solo, you can use the DSi’s internal camera and a timer function to snap those stances without embarrassing yourself in front of anyone else. Naturally it’s easier to get another player to line up the photos, but you can always retake any photos later if they don’t turn out how you’d hoped. Some of the outlines can be tough to match accurately, creating some dodgy-looking walks and jumps, but that only adds to the hilarity.

In fact, creating a fighter is Photo Dojo’s main source of amusement as you laugh through kicks, silly faces and taunts, with the potential almost endless, and eight slots in which to save your creations. Taking your fighter into battle and seeing the often shambling results is funny too at first, but soon wears off.

In single-player you scroll from left to right attempting to defeat 100 enemies, with your best score recorded for you to beat. That’s genuinely it: there’s no other options for solo fighters whatsoever, not even so much as an arcade-style tournament or anything else. Naturally, you won’t want to play this one solo, and playing against a friend on the same DS is a lot of fun: creating a secret fighter and unleashing their stupid phrases and kicks on your opponent is hilarious.

That said, look past the jokes and you have the most barebones fighter imaginable: there’s no block, only two special moves and not even a best-of-three setup. You’ll likely find yourselves bashing the attack button to jab your opponent into defeat, and any form of strategy or nuance is missing: this isn’t exactly the sweet science.


It’s hard to knock Photo Dojo: its versatility and use of the DSi’s functions are superb, and the potential to create fighters based on friends, figures and anything else you can photograph is enough to forgive its simplicity and lack of gameplay modes. For 200 Points it’s almost impossible to go wrong with this one if you have a few friends to play with and don’t mind laughing at your own expense.

From the web

Game Trailer

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NINTENDO show off the new European version of Photo Dojo for DSiWare. Come visit Nintendo Life for more information

User Comments (56)



cheapogamer4life said:

@ PIZZA-no buy for me if they do
Not really to sure about this one, as I am pretty much a solo player.
Looks good though.



Percentful said:

@Kanrakus I agree with your little letters.
Good review, BTW, but I have one question. Do you have to be a certain height to fit into the picture well?



Terra said:

I have this on my DSi and I have to say it's rather fun with friends/siblings and a great little game for the DSi at just 200 points. Nothing great of course but for what it is, it's worth buying



BleachFan said:

Yes, I'm glad this seems to be good! Looks like a very thoroughly made bit of fun!



melvin2898 said:

I'm not getting this.I don't see why people like this so much.I guess it's not my type of game.



Slapshot said:

OMG Im going to make my puppy and my cat fight! This could be a really fun App and cheap too. Good Stuff.



SuperMarioFan96 said:

This really interests me. It looks like it could get old, but considering it's $2, I think it's worth it.



Bobpie said:

One Player is just as fun as two.
This game is the best when you take pictures of soft toys and pets and use them to beat up your brother.



sonic_brawler95 said:

I've been waiting for this review.
As soon as it hits the NA DSiware store, I'll buy it. It looks sooooooooo fun.



Gogata said:

Nice review, I got this game it is really good, but it is kinda hard to capture someone without seeing background... I tried capturing myself alone and it was even harder but this is still funny lol.



Sean_Aaron said:

When I previewed this I captured a co-worker who really didn't know why I wanted him to do all these poses, but when he saw the result he thought it was the best video game ever (Xbox/iPhone owner).

This thing can seriously sell the DSi. Playing two-player is obviously a lot easier on an XL/LL as well and it was pointed out in the preview that short of photographing people you could use action figures or even hand-drawn artwork.




Insta-download.....though I'd prefer Glow Artisan, Bejeweled and Bookworm which ARE available on NA DSis



Gizmo said:

I'm really disappointed of Photo Dojo. Why can't you play with two DSi against each other? It would be so much more comfortable. Or why can't you transfer the photos between two DSi? =(



ToastyYogurt said:

Getting this when it comes to NA. Probably will be the best way to beat up my brother without getting into trouble .



Linkgamer said:

ive anticipated the realse of this game for so long that im still really frustrated that it has not com out in north america. but i hope it comes out tommarow

p.s. my spelling is bad/ i used my dsi to right this.



IndianDan said:

Spring For Photo Dojo Meaning April, May And June. So We'll Find Out When It Comes. Soon. Also I Might Get It As Well. I Hope Some Of The Pictures I Take. With My Sweatshirt On Will Be AWESOME!. Can't Wait.



joebish said:

Just announced, this will be free from May 10 to June 10 on NA DSiWare. Can't wait.



Zono15 said:

I am so excited for this to come out in NA tomorrow! I'm so glad they're going to make it free for a while:)



Stuffgamer1 said:

I did download it solely because it cost me nothing. I'm very disappointed with the cutout picture frames that force you to use something in human form (I wanted my stuffed animals to fight, but they just don't fit!). The game would be much better if it gave you the option to take photos and crop them on the touch screen. Also, the height of those whose pictures you take IS an issue. No matter what I do, I can't get my feet in the photo (I'm 6'3"), or even those of my mom (5'10").

The fun of the voice acting is great, but the picture-taking setup is so flawed that I wouldn't recommend this for 200 points. But by all means, download it while it's free. Try it out for yourself. If nothing else, you'll get 10 Club Nintendo coins out of it.



aerogirl1003 said:

This game totally rocks and is free until june so get it while you can for free but it is worth the points too! love it!



triforceofcourage said:

2 player contorls are wonky should be wireless multi-player
but still a great value for 200 points. hilarious to see you fighting your freinds with funky sound effects
i made my fighter holding a little kids plastic chainsaw with real chainsaw sounds lol



rachelthehedgehog said:

Photo Dojo is a good game, but when you play, you might have to turn the sound off. The sound gets annoying. Ugh. BOOTS



Supremeist said:

Photo Dojo. A very unique game. I try to get all my friends to create characters when I see them, so I can build up the library. But when you're recording the sounds for your character, make sure you don't make them loud and obnoxious, especially for the regular "Kicks" and "Punches" because let me tell you. You hear it OVER and OVER and OVER again. It gets really annoying, so make sure you make them quiet.

For 200 points, your racking up a wacky little unique style fighter.
Nintendo should have relatively kept if free for the users, having the DS owners start out fresh with a nice little game to enjoy.

Would have been nice, but good review.

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