Miffy's World Review
Posted by Henry Stockdale
Some of you may already be familiar with Miffy. Originally starting off as a children's book by Dutch author Dick Bruna in 1955, the story is based around the small, female rabbit called Miffy and has since spawned a very successful children's series of books and cartoons. So, in a similar fashion to The Very Hungry Caterpillar's ABCs, the books have now been adapted as a WiiWare game by PAN Vision, but unfortunately this release isn't quite up to the same standards.
Being based on a children's book series, it should be no surprise to see that the game is also aimed at children here. You play Miffy and explore different areas such as a beach or the zoo, meeting several other characters along the way. You take part in a variety of little quests comprising small steps, such as giving a monkey a banana or giving a seal a beach ball. They're all simple enough and kids are likely to get some enjoyment from doing this.
Alongside the main tasks are also mini-games. There's a lot of them included here scattered across the levels, and a key icon will appear where there are mini-games to be found. These are usually very simple picture games like putting certain objects in the right place, painting a picture of a monkey and spot the difference games. There's also a school included in the game which features some educational aspects in their game, such as matching animal sounds to their corresponding animals. These are all pretty basic, understandable due to the nature of the game, but they add a lot of replay value to the game and children are likely to have fun with them.
The game features two different modes here, single player and two player mode. They're almost identical though with two player mode primarily designed for parents to help out their child through the game: the parent points at the screen with the Wii Remote and wherever they click, a star mark on the screen acts as a guide for where the child should also click. Other than this, they have no other role in-game, but it's a useful addition to the game, as the graphical aid can be easier to understand than simply being told by their parent where to point.
Controls for the game are a bit of a mixed bag however. Everything is explained to you at the beginning in a tutorial, which is unfortunately unskippable for those who've already been through it. Design-wise, the game using a point and click style method similar to other Wii games, using the D-Pad to move across the level and pressing the A button while pointing to interact with objects and characters, as well as using the B button to choose an item you're holding and give it to a character. Pressing the 1 button will bring up a little menu to help show you your progress across the various quests, which is useful if you ever forget.
While this all works reasonably well, there is one major issue of concern here however. There is a glitch in the game that occurs sometimes during the loading screens, causing the game to freeze. This only happens though whenever you press the + or 2 button so it is, avoidable but it's still very annoying and rather poor.
Graphically, the game retain the same art style utilised in the books which, while being rather distinctive and pretty colourful, is also quite plain at times. There's a large reliance on graphics throughout the game, with very little text being used at all that's been replaced by simple pictures and audio in an attempt to make the interface more kid friendly. Audio-wise, there's nothing much to get excited about here with just looping pieces of background music and a small handful of different audio clips between characters.
At 1000 Points it's pretty expensive, but for those of you who have children or younger siblings and are interested in finding a game you can play together, Miffy's World is not a bad choice with its colourful art style and easy gameplay.