(3DS eShop)

Siesta Fiesta (3DS eShop)

Game Review

Siesta Fiesta Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

A breakout hit

When you learn that a title on the 3DS eShop originally began as a concept for a smartphone game, there's an instinct to take a hesitant step back. On the other hand, Siesta Fiesta is proof that this route to the system can be a blessing — if iOS and Android games can be addictive and fun enough to keep millions of consumers amused, those ideas can blossom and be expanded into excellent portable experiences. Mojo Bones has also succeeded in borrowing classic gaming ideas and making them feel fresh, making this a welcome arrival on Nintendo's handheld download store.

Siesta Fiesta's concept is relatively simple. The classic paddle-and-ball block breaking is combined with scrolling levels — in the majority of cases — and therefore moves away from the standard arena-based template. Initially it can feel slightly overwhelming, as you accommodate for deflections and rebounds while also considering the shifting scene; it qualifies as a simple but very effective idea. Early levels do a good job of settling you in to the task at hand, and with six lives on each stage attempt, most will likely see the cheerful 'Congratulations' area with few problems.

At the core of this title are solid mechanics and physics, vital for any block breaking game. Level layouts often challenge you to achieve fairly tight angles and accuracy, and the paddle — or bed, as it is in the storyline — behaves much as expected. Beyond simply breaking every block, there are often tricky combinations or directions to achieve, along with some puzzle elements. Achieving the highest scores may require the activation of particular switches, changing the direction of some blocks to direct a ball of fire and more. Often a first run will see opportunities missed, and the tease of an improved score and medal can tempt you back for another try. Importantly, there's a notable feeling of weight to the ball and blocks, bringing home a sense that failure is down to the player not quite hitting the mark, rather than any inconsistency or unfairness in the physics.

Unsurprisingly for a genre focused on combos and score chasing, Siesta Fiesta adopts a medal system. Passing a level guarantees a bronze medal, and you need a pretty decent performance to achieve a silver; gold medals have been described to us as the 'developer's runs', and we can believe it. After our first run through of the full game we had mostly silver medals with a handful of bronze, with just a few golds throughout. These are exceptionally tough to get even when you know a level and have a clear plan, so will keep dedicated players busy for many hours.

Drawing on a sense of adventure familiar to anyone that's ever taken on a platformer, meanwhile, this title is split into eight worlds and a total of 64 levels, each a few minutes long. It's an impressive range of content, with colourful, varied environments; in later worlds the variation applies to a greater degree in terms of the physics and gameplay design, too, with elements such as fire and ice introduced to the core mechanics, shaking up those aforementioned puzzles. There are some clever new ideas, with some alternative paddle / bed types that switch up the controls — we won't spoil them here. The last stage in each territory also has a boss encounter — some are a simple case of landing enough hits, while others have subtle tricks and puzzle aspects to solve; they simply add to the surprising variety brought out the concept.

Thankfully, all of this excellent design is backed up by solid controls. There are multiple options all enabled by default, meaning that you can switch and combine inputs as you please. Moving the paddle can be done with the touch screen + stylus or the Circle Pad / D-pad — the former is far better, offering precision and quick movement that the standard controls can never match. You can also boost the ball on impact with either a well-timed tap or a press of the shoulder buttons / A. This effectively supports left or right handed play, and our preferred (lefty) setup was to move with the stylus and use A to boost, with a button press feeling a little more solid than a tap on the screen. Either way it's intuitive enough for anyone to play, and though less-skilled players will see some Game Over screens in later worlds, the simple nature of the concept opens it up to anyone with quick reflexes; we may not all get gold medals, but completion is a realistic goal for anyone.

These various strengths are reinforced by some of the cleanest visuals we've seen from a 3DS eShop game in some time. Whether in the sunny opening world, riding the waves, in a cave or moving along the top of a snowy mountain, this is undoubtedly pleasing on the eyes. The charming aesthetic is backed up by a cheerful soundtrack, with some Rayman Lum-style squeaky voices singing along. Considering the fact it rocks along at 60fps in all but one level — a one-off blip where some frames were dropped — means that it's terrific in action. The only downside is that due to the style of game and the level of challenge it provides, maintaining a 3D sweet-spot is pretty difficult, especially on the original 3DS model; while we enjoyed the 3D effect, we often played in 2D due to that issue.

Beyond the single-player quest over a number of hours, the only task remaining is to hunt gold medals — you're simply given three save profiles and the extensive set of levels to beat; we don't have the skill to see if every gold medal unlocks an extra treat. It's a simple setup with no bells and whistles, yet in this case it's justified; when the gameplay provided is so tight, clever, compulsive and fun, the multiple hours of content more than return on the investment. Messing around with the classic Breakout formula may not be a new idea, but the level design, power-ups and colourful approach of this title successfully make that oldest of genres contemporary again.

Conclusion

Siesta Fiesta is that relatively rare occurrence on the 3DS eShop — a game that delivers on all of its promises. It innovates without compromising on quality or complicating matters beyond the reach of inexperienced players, and is perfect either for extended play sessions or a quick level on the bus; with a lot of top-notch content and an affordable price, it shows that with skill and care developers can still deliver real quality to the portable. A must have on 3DS.

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User Comments (75)

SuperCharlie78

#4

SuperCharlie78 said:

Great review, I'm sold.
Games like this would've been at least 30€ at retail in the DS era, I'm so glad they ask for a few coins now.

6ch6ris6

#5

6ch6ris6 said:

"The only downside is that due to the style of game and the level of challenge it provides, maintaining a 3D sweet-spot is pretty difficult, especially on the original 3DS model; while we enjoyed the 3D effect, we often played in 2D due to that issue."

yeah i already thought that will happen. guess i will try the circle pad controlls first. i love the 3D effect.

ekreig

#6

ekreig said:

I've been looking forward to this one. Love the inventive gameplay and Rayman Origins-esque art. Must-have for me!

Dpullam

#7

Dpullam said:

Surprised and glad to see this game has received such a high score, but this type of game isn't for me. I'm not a huge fan of pick up and play games even with the low price.

eviLaTtenDant

#9

eviLaTtenDant said:

It sounds like this one doesn't have the vertical movement that just made me give up on the otherwise great DS game Nervous Brickdown.
In it there was this world where the ball isn't reflected by your paddle but you have to hit it to make it reach the blocks. This was one of the most frustrating experiences i ever had with a game.

Xilef

#10

Xilef said:

Much cred to the developers for maneging to make a fresh Breakout game. Will buy!

Kaze_Memaryu

#11

Kaze_Memaryu said:

Whoa, this is really interesting! I love it when developers show courage while maintaining a substantial quality level! Consider one digital copy sold, Mojo Bones!

Emblem

#13

Emblem said:

This game looked very fun at E3 so i'm glad its turned out awesome, the low price point is icing on the cake, this a day 1 purchase for me.

sinalefa

#15

sinalefa said:

Glad to see my hunch was right. This, Armillo and Scram Kitty all looked special to me. And since I have Friday off, starting tomorrow I will have the party of my dreams with Siesta Fiesta!

Stu13

#16

Stu13 said:

Tomorrow's update is already looking to wipe the floor with last week's. Definitely getting this and have to decide between Master Reboot and Wooden Sen'sey. Hopefully there will be reviews for those two posted soon.

readyletsgo

#17

readyletsgo said:

I knew this game would get great reviews since I seen in months ago! Even the music I heard then made me wanna 'insta buy' this.
Totally getting it tomorrow!

ricklongo

#21

ricklongo said:

A 9?! Now that's surprising. I'm even in need of a cheap download game on my 3DS, so will definitely give this a try.

shigulicious

#23

shigulicious said:

Without grabbing my 3ds, I assume this title will be available in the US after tomorrow's offerings. I wish each review came with 3 things; release date,price and file size. Please, understand.

MojoBones

#24

MojoBones said:

@shigulicious - Hey there... Like magic, Siesta Fiesta will be hitting the EU, US and AUS regions tomorrow.

BTW, we're looking forward to catching up with some of you guys on our Miiverse channel. Can't wait to see those super high-scores :)

We hope you all enjoy the game and thanks for supporting us.

The Mojo Bones team

sinalefa

#27

sinalefa said:

@shigulicious

Since this is Siesta Fiesta, you earn a gold medal for seeing what I did there. ;)

And I support your idea. I would even like to know if we need to write a letter, petition, etc. to have the file size for every game. For a site that prides itself in reviewing every Nintendo download game, it would make a lot of sense and add even more value.

So, @ThomasBW84 @Damo, what do you say? If you need volunteers, I am pretty sure some of us would be willing to assist.

XCWarrior

#29

XCWarrior said:

Game sounds interesting. Guess it shows that every now and then, something good can come from something that sounds silly.

I'd knock a point off for the name, which hopefully won't kill sales too much. Sadly anything with "party" in its name, even if it's the Spanish word, usually brings back memories of mini game clones.

TruenoGT

#30

TruenoGT said:

Though physically impossible, playing this game with the DS Taito paddle controller would be freakin' great.

MojoBones

#37

MojoBones said:

@Gen0neD - we'll stick to our promise. If we get around to making a sequel 'Finito Burrito' will have to be used. Although, thinking about it, perhaps that name would work better as the last part of a 'trilogy'.

MeloMan

#38

MeloMan said:

Wait............................
That's long enough. It's a brick breaker game?! I LOVE brick breakers, and someone has actually evolved the concept? I had no idea what this game was about. 9/10 definitely helps but I'm sold already when it comes to this genre. What a pleasant surprise (and enjoyable time waster).

Gen0neD

#39

Gen0neD said:

@MojoBones Secretly I was hoping you'd comment. I dare you to use that name. I wasn't aware that it was a promise though. Awesome. If it becomes a trilogy of sorts, Finito Burrito, will assuredly, be great. And yes, Siesta Fiesta is as good as mine tomorrow. Good luck and make that money!

Edit: thought about it some more. If not a trilogy, it can be used as a name for a cool special/finishing move. * revels in the possibilities *

WiiLovePeace

#40

WiiLovePeace said:

I've been mildly looking towards this game & I'm most glad to see it has blown my expectations out of the water. I'll pick this up when I can, maybe next week. :D

Canaroo

#41

Canaroo said:

@MojoBones You know, a certain gamepad <cough> <cough> off-tv play <cough> <cough> might be a great fit for this game, too!

vonseux

#43

vonseux said:

The laest brick game vr played was fling smash with the wiimote+ did a 4 hour run. Very very fun... will look into thid one too

sinalefa

#45

sinalefa said:

@MojoBones

Hey, how comes you can release the game in three regions simultaneously but Renegade Kid and Nicalis can't? Kudos to you!

MojoBones

#46

MojoBones said:

@sinalefa - why do you think Siesta Fiesta was delayed :)

On a serious note: it's very dependent on the type of game you're making, so I wouldn't be too harsh on those other devs. I'm sure they'd love to have all versions launching at once, but sometimes that's just not possible. It's one of the down sides to having smaller indie devs/teams: you get interesting, unique games, but sometimes that comes at the cost of a slight delay (because of team size and resources).

Having said all that... WHERE'S OUR EU SHOVEL KNIGHT!!

Taceus

#47

Taceus said:

A fresh take on the ol' Breakout, great review and devs that interact with the community. SOLD.

Yomerodes

#48

Yomerodes said:

I am pretty burnout after playing Alphabounce for dozens of hours this past months on my 3DS, I wonder when the need to play more paddle will strike me...but at least now I know which game will satisfy that need.

Barbiegurl777

#49

Barbiegurl777 said:

I'll probably pick this game up tomorrow as well. :)

Love the color's in the game! :D

Has nice beetlejuice vibe to it lol. ;)

Happy Gaming! (^_^)

BulbasaurusRex

#51

BulbasaurusRex said:

Mmm, nah, it doesn't sound like my kind of game, although a demo might convince me to change my mind.

JaxonH

#52

JaxonH said:

Ya, totally getting this.

I was a HUGE Alleyway fan on the Gameboy. That was like, the only game I would play on it tbh lol. Well, that and Tetris. This game had me intrigued since its announcement, but this review just confirms my suspicions- the game really IS fun!

andregurov

#53

andregurov said:

Sounds great, and a pleasant surprise to boot! Will definitely pick this up tomorrow … while crossing my fingers that it wanders over to the Wii U someday. Hopefully quicker than SteamWorld Dig!

AshFoxX

#54

AshFoxX said:

I had no idea this was a thing until now, but it looks like it will be able to hit every one of my pleasure sensors in my brain. I too was (and remain) a huge fan of Alleyway for GB and Kirby's Block Ball, so this will be at the very least the top of my eShop wish list until Tomodachi Life and Yoshi's New Island are in my life.

reali-tglitch

#55

reali-tglitch said:

And here I was, thinking that every trailer I saw looked like a boring, generic breakout style game.

MojoBones

#56

MojoBones said:

@JaxonH - big fans of Alleyway over here at Mojo HQ. That box art always brings back so many memories.

@AshFoxX - we have no idea what 'pleasure sensors' are, but we want some. Have fun with the game and thanks for the support!

DadOfFour1972

#59

DadOfFour1972 said:

Good game but I have a problem. Played the first area through and got mainly silver's. Went back later and got a couple of gold's. Went back for a third go and they were back to silver. Did it again with same result. Anyone else see that???? So not saving improved scores in subsequent sessions :(

DadOfFour1972

#62

DadOfFour1972 said:

@MojoBones thanks - this morning I downloaded the system update, deleted the game, downloaded the game and am getting the same problem with 100% consistency! Kinda ruining the experience of what is otherwise a super game!

DadOfFour1972

#63

DadOfFour1972 said:

@MojoBones - also I posted about it in the dedicated game forum (under 3ds shop) and 2 other people are reporting the same problem. Hope you can patch it quickly!

NoEasyBuckets

#65

NoEasyBuckets said:

@MojoBones I'm having the same issue. I have noticed that if you replay a completed stage and then play a new one, everything will be saved. So the issue seems to be that the whole game is only saving once a stage is completed for the first time

MojoBones

#66

MojoBones said:

@NoEasyBuckets - Quick update: we can see what the problem is and it's linked to a bug in how the save code is handled. There's a quick, temporary workaround...

Once you have your new scores, go back to the profile select and start/delete one of the other unused profiles. This action forces the game to save all current game data - keeping any scores you've acquired in your other (true) profile.

We have been working hard today and have submitted a patch tonight, and hopefully it will be with you soon. Apologies again and thanks for your patience. Still hope you're liking the game :)

Stargazer

#67

Stargazer said:

@MojoBones

There seems to be something a little off with the 3D effect. Sometimes it messes with my eyes on the right side of the screen. I'm not sure if I'm just tilting the system on accident or what...anybody else experiencing this?

Henmii

#68

Henmii said:

Is it THAT good?!

But if this was originally on ios, that probably means this is a overpriced version, so it should score lower.

By the way: Soundtrack by Ubisoft, from the sounds of it Lol.

NoEasyBuckets

#69

NoEasyBuckets said:

@Henmii Why suggest what the score should be for a game you've never played? The review said the concept was originally for an iOS game, not that it was ever released on iOS.

zornthgrt

#70

zornthgrt said:

@Henmii yeah the music does feel a little ray man legendy. And no the score shouldn't be lowered because of what it was going to be at one time.

polarbear

#71

polarbear said:

@MojoBones
I'm also experiencing the same 3D-effect glitch on the lower right side of the screen as Stargazer. Only on some levels though. It doesn't help if I keep the 3DS completely unmovable or turn down the 3D a bit. Hope you are looking for a way to fix it.

Another small anoyance: I destroyed the first pinata boss. Then just a second after that lost the ball and had to restart the level (because it was my last ball). That felt a bit unfair. I think when the boss is defeated the game should always register it as if the level was completed.

Apart from that I like the game a lot.

MojoBones

#72

MojoBones said:

@polarbear & stargazer - thanks for the feedback, we'll look into it. Also, completely valid point re: the boss. For now, hopefully it's quite a rare occurrence and doesn't disrupt things too much.

MojoBones

#73

MojoBones said:

@Henmii - just to clarify: this isn't a smartphone game ported to 3DS. The original concept was something we quickly prototyped on an iPad (before it was even called Siesta Fiesta) for convenience and to test the mechanic. The game has been designed and developed for 3DS.

polarbear

#74

polarbear said:

Stylus is my prefered method of playing. The control feels very accurate.

@MojoBones
Another wish: when closing and opening the lid of the 3DS it would be great if the game could enter the pause menu instead of resuming right away.

Henmii

#75

Henmii said:

@MojoBones,

Thanks for the answer! Now that I know it, the game goes on my download list.

I said what I said just because I am not a fan of ios games that get ported to Nintendo devices at ridiculous prices. But as you made clear its not a port and made specifically for the 3DS. That's nice to hear.

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