For anybody who isn't aware, the eponymous character in Pucca's Kisses Game is a Disney-owned franchise. The cutesy 10-year old spends most of her many cartoon appearances running around attempting to kiss a ninja named Garu who, in turn, is pursued throughout by a ninja named Tobe and his minions.
This storyline carries over to the game, essentially a simplistic platformer with puzzly bits slapped on, and is something of a pleasant surprise – take it on its merits and the game emerges as something far better than it has any right to be. This, however, comes with some reservations.
For the majority of the game, Pucca will run left-to-right in order not to save a princess, nor rescue her trapped animal chums, but to kiss a ninja she is infatuated with. This happens at the end of every level; incredible stuff.
Nonetheless, you don't control Pucca per-se. She constantly runs, encountering various hazards, and should you need to jump, this happens through a Quick Time Event, where you must press A to navigate a cliff, for example. The game's key mechanic happens via the "pause" function – not literally, but via the B button. Upon triggering this, Pucca will stop, but everything else on screen won't, giving you time to wait for something to move before jumping, or use items.
Of these items, the default is a grabbing hand. This allows you to move platforms around that Pucca is stood on as need be, avoiding enemies that are still moving when the action is paused. The other items function in different ways, such as dispatching enemies or removing walls, but all are remote-controlled.
The difficulty is very much aimed at a Disney audience; should Pucca meet her maker at any point during play, the game will automatically rewind to a pre-defined checkpoint, of which there are many. Towards the end, the game has the capacity to ramp up the difficulty by throwing in multiple situations at once, such as the final boss. However, it's a simple game that allows you to coast through the main levels without too much trouble.
Towards the end of each of of these levels are minigames. Unfortunately, they're a bit tacked on – games such as spot the difference and jigsaw puzzles are simple and fun enough, but are going to get repetitive by the end of a game even as short as this one. The maze sections, too, are very fiddly control-wise and rather boring. These games do break up the action, granted, but perhaps they could have been dispensed with in favour of several more levels.
Once you've completed the game, there's a Score Attack mode. Each level is unlocked through completion in the Story, and the mode consists of points being gained for individual actions. These are jumps (where how quickly you jump seems to have no correlation), dispatching of enemies, completion of minigames (which grab you the most points), and so on. Medals offered based on your score, offering a bit more replay value. Here, however, a massive point has been missed.
Where the game would have done better is by integrating the score attack and the story, and using a timer. It is possible, through good timing, to use items while unpaused – as long as you briefly pause to swap items. Throw in the situations where the game requires well-timed jumps, and the need for a time, rather than a score attack, becomes clear. In itself, the score attack is fun, and again, not too difficult. It's not enough to make up for such a short game, however.
In short, Pucca's Kisses Game is fun – for a while. Fans of the characters will love this, undoubtedly, as there are numerous cameos and references throughout the game. The difficulty is well structured, as it slowly introduces players to the concepts and only starts to challenge towards the end. The minigames are unnecessary, but if you are young or enjoy the show, you will probably like them. The worst failing of the game is its length and difficulty – these 12 levels will not last long. Again, young 'uns or fans will see through this, but for anyone else, it's not worth 1000 Points.