Posted by Corbie Dillard
Does it crack under the pressure?
For anyone that's even played Lemmings or Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect from DodoGo!. Your goal in each level is to guide at least one of the eggs back to the nest safely. If you want to earn medals, however, you're going to have to get all the eggs back to the nest safely, which is sometimes easier said than done. Along the way you're going to also have to keep an eye on the mood of your egg and occasionally go so far as to bandage up or even cheer your egg up in order to keep it in a happy mood.
Controlling the eggs themselves is mainly just a matter of starting and stopping them. You can do this by shouting "GO" and "STOP" through the DSi microphone, or by rubbing individual eggs with the stylus. In order to traverse hazards strung throughout each level, you'll have to make use of the given set of tools. These range from decks you can draw for your eggs to roll on, to springboards that can propel your egg to previously unreachable ledges. There are a few more interesting tools that you'll gain access to as you reach later levels, each one becoming an integral part to being able to safely lead your eggs back to their nest. You're even given a robotic egg that you can use as something of a crash test dummy to try things out before sending your actual eggs into motion.
As you complete levels, you'll be graded on your performance based on how long it took you to complete the level as well as how many eggs you were able to safely guide back to the nest. The game will even keep track of the mood of the eggs when they reached safety. This is where you have the opportunity to earn medals and even a golden egg if you're able to guide all the eggs in each level to safety under the par time. This is the ultimate goal of each level and offers up a nice bit of incentive to go back and replay the levels in order to acquire the golden egg for each one,
On top of the game's regular levels, you'll also have the chance to play bonus levels in each area in order to win special prizes that range from extra jokers, which allow you to skip a level you're stuck on to costumes for your eggs. These are also tallied as you play through the game and are yet another good reason to come back to the game in order to win them all. You can even visit the game's official web site on your computer to compare your ranking with that of other players around the world.
The simple gameplay idea offers up a unique and engaging experience that tends to put far more emphasis on problem solving than any type of actual platforming skills. The game does a nice job of offering up tutorials to help you along the way, but at times it feels like it's perhaps holding your hand a bit too much. The good news is that you can skip these tutorials if you prefer, which is something you might want to consider early on. You can't help but appreciate the unique levels designs and gradually more difficult levels that should challenge even the most seasoned problem solvers. While the pacing might prove a bit slow for some, you'll soon find that it works for the gameplay and allows the player to take their time and experiment with the different tools available.
From a visual standpoint, you have to appreciate what the developers were able to accomplish, especially for a DSiWare release. While the game's scenery has a very abstract look to it, it works quite well for the island-themed surroundings and goes hand in hand with the visual look of the eggs and wildlife that inhabit them. It might not be quite as flashy as some of the better DSiWare releases, but its unique presentation certainly makes it stand out from the crowd.
The soundtrack is quite fitting of the visual theme, albeit a tad repetitive given how much time you'll often spend listening to the same track. It's certainly understandable considering the file size limitations of DSiWare. You'll get a new tune with each new area, so there's always a new musical piece waiting around the corner to enjoy.
While the idea itself might feel a bit familiar, the execution in the game is solid and should appeal to gamers that enjoy this type of problem-solving gaming experience. Couple the game's rather unique audio-visual presentation with it's engaging and challenging gameplay system and you have a DSiWare release that gamers who like to don their thinking caps while they play should really enjoy. The 800-Point price tag is a bit steep, but given the large number of over 100 levels, not to mention the significant replay value offered up, DodoGo! should still prove to be worth it for fans of this type of game. Of course those expecting more of a traditional platforming experience might want to look elsewhere.