Review: Tales of Elastic Boy: Mission 1 (WiiWare)

Elastic fantastic?

While still creating a line of educational games on WiiWare, Lexis Numerique decided to work on a platforming series alongside it. Sticking with a similar graphical style clearly geared towards younger gamers, does this fare well against other games in the genre currently available?

You play as Mooky, just one member of an entire tribe of strange elastic creatures. Their primary special ability is to stretch themselves out, allowing them to grab hold of things that are fairly far apart. The story's as typical as it could possibly get: bad omens have started to appear, and you just happen to be the one special someone who is somehow destined to defeat the bad guys. Cutscenes between levels advance the plot little by little, but it's nothing of Shakespearean quality.

The game takes full control of the Wii's motion control and does not allow for any other control options, which is always a poor choice, if you ask us — they could've at least simply allowed you to attach the nunchuk and let you use that. To simply roll around, you have to hold B while tilting the remote to the right or left, and stuff like pounding the ground or basically another form of movement requires you to flick the Wii remote in some direction. The pointer also comes into play by allowing you to point at floating pegs — press the A button on the one you want to grab on to and you'll do just so. You can also just hold down A and move your pointer from peg to peg to move around much faster.

The game never really picks up the pace in terms of challenge, with most obstacles being pretty simple to pass. We managed to breeze through all of the game's seven levels in about 90 minutes on the "difficult" settings, which didn't really live up to its name, further hammering home that this is clearly geared towards a younger audience. Because of this, and the fact most levels look alike, there's nothing really memorable about the whole thing. It's not bad, per se, but it feels pretty bland.

When you're done with the main adventure, the game thankfully also offers a Versus mode for 2 players. The five multiplayer modes are pretty simple and are all variations of two things: collecting gold nuggets or grabbing a crown and holding on to it as long as possible. None of it is very compelling, but it at least extends the game's life expectancy a little.

Much like most of the game, the graphics and music are pretty bland. The visual style resembles that of the PooYoos, but doesn't really jump out at you as much, and we barely even noticed music was actually playing.


All in all, Elastic Boy is a moderately good start for young kids who want to start getting into actual gaming (perhaps as a step up from Lexis Numerique's other WiiWare series), and for 600 Wii Points it's not really too expensive. Be on the lookout for sequels!

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