(WiiWare)

Back To Nature (WiiWare)

Game Review

Back To Nature Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Martin Watts

Back to basics

It’s a well-known fact that Nintendo’s WiiWare service has its limitations. Developers must reportedly cram their games into a paltry 40MB, and the system’s lack of horsepower can no doubt play a considerable role in curbing some game design ideas. Nevertheless, many independent studios have risen to the challenge and we’ve seen some impressive efforts over the years.

When it comes to Back to Nature, however, it’s a completely different story. Developed by Kaasa Solution, the same people who brought us low-quality titles such as Flashlight and Discolight, this latest release can only be described as an absolute train wreck. There’s simply nothing worthwhile about this game. From its horrid visuals right through to its short, beyond-basic gameplay, it’s very clear that Back to Nature was developed in order to make a quick buck.

This title is essentially a mini-game collection, sewn together with an incredibly dull storyline. Tom the cat has gone missing and it’s up to his animal friends to find him. This plot is presented to the player in the form of static storyboards, which could have only been created using Microsoft Paint and a blindfold. What may well have been a half-hearted attempt to try to create an abstract art style comes off as appearing both rushed and laughable. These animals look anything but natural.

To make matters worse, this one contains a measly six mini-games to complete. If these activities were really fun and engaging, then perhaps you could forgive the developers for this apparent lack of content and the poor visuals. But instead, Back to Nature relies on ideas that are so simplistic that there’s just nothing enjoyable about it. For example, one stage has you swapping fish around over an open fire to stop them from burning. Another sees you chopping wood over and over before the timer runs out. Is this really the sort of stuff that today’s gamers are looking for?

The motion controls themselves feel responsive, but there’s simply no challenge or entertainment value. In fact, it’s possible to complete the entire game by simply doing nothing; just put the Wii remote down and select continue when the mini-game is over and you’ll still reach the end of the game. At one point you’re tasked with repairing a boat. Failing to do this in time or choosing not to has absolutely no impact on your success whatsoever. It moves on to the next mini-game (which, funnily enough, takes place in the boat you failed to repair) and still acts as if you finished the activity flawlessly.

The game scores you on your performance throughout, which at least serves as a good distraction to the horrible story mechanics. Successfully completing some mini-games within the allotted time will give you a bonus; in others, you just have to try and score as much as you can. A leaderboard system has been implemented in what can only be assumed is an attempt to get others to compete with you. The real challenge, however, comes not from your friends beating your scores, but rather, trying to convince them to even play this game in the first place.

Completing all of these mini-games takes no longer than 10 minutes. Once you've accomplished this less-than-impressive feat, that’s it. There’s a training mode where you can go straight to a mini-game of your choice, but when the gameplay is as dull as it is, why would you even bother?

Conclusion

To be blunt, this is a pathetic excuse for a video game. While some games simply miss the mark when it comes to key aspects such as game design, visuals or overall fun, Back to Nature manages to fail spectacularly in each and every single one of these areas. No effort has been made here to provide an entertaining experience, and this title is clearly nothing more than a blatant attempt to cash-in on unsuspecting gamers. Avoid at all costs.

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User Comments (22)

rayword45

#1

rayword45 said:

Not surprised based on their track record (and I never say that sentence fragment) of complete shovelware like Flashlight.

Still, I wanna try this to see how bad it is, and I actually like the art style (reminds me of 12 Oz. Mouse and Home Movies). Still not risking $5 lol

True_Hero

#3

True_Hero said:

And I thought that Cake Ninja sounded bad. When it comes to being awful, Back to Nature really takes the "cake"! Get it? <Is hit with a tomato>

Klunk23

#5

Klunk23 said:

They also used the name Tom for the cat. The most overused cat name in all entertainment.

galnicholas

#8

galnicholas said:

I feel like if this review stops one parent buying it for their children this holiday season, Christmas will be saved.

TailsSonicDX

#12

TailsSonicDX said:

Man, i'm i glad i never heard of this game till' now. Avoiding at all costs, even if it means not going to see any new games at a game store.

OorWullie

#13

OorWullie said:

Hopefully this will fail to make the minimum amount of sales for Nintendo so these scam artists go out of business.Or even better the UN bring a new law into play and these fraudsters all get sent to The Hague and locked up for for crimes to gaming.

OorWullie

#14

OorWullie said:

Thinking about it,someone at Nintendo must play through this before approving it for their service so why even bother?Its certainly not going to make them a profit and it can only serve to damage their brand with the unsuspecting Mums or kids who did download it.This must be sorted out for the Wii U but so far at least most of the titles announced look promising.Hopefully with a high enough standard of titles selling well,on the Eshop devs will realise they have to make their game a bit special for it to be noticed.

Unca_LzStaff

#15

Unca_Lz said:

"Often found pretending to be a giant bird." Best part of the review :D

Raiko

#16

Raiko said:

It would be nice to hear what the developers think about their own work. Surely there are reasons other than pure laziness, being massively uninspired, etc... Surely no programmer or game designer would want to make something like this.

Moorpheel

#17

Moorpheel said:

I usually like simplistic or kiddy graphics, but this is completely embarassing. It's as if they had thought "let's have each programmer in the company make a quick mini game and call it a day, oh wait, we need graphics, let me open flash and draw something.... There, work with that."

Who even thought this was acceptable? If I had been involved in this, I wouldn't have put my real name on the credits.

Not to mention the name makes me think of another completely unrelated good game.

Omega

#18

Omega said:

So why is this described as "Adventure" in the info box? Adventure is something like Monkey Island, Myst or Fenimore Fillmore: The Westerner. The only genre that Nintendo Life has and which fits to the game is "Other". (Since there is no "mini games".)

RetrogamerFan

#19

RetrogamerFan said:

Saw the video for this on the e-shop new realeases last week and wondered what was going on - well now i know...
Hadn't heard of flashlight/discolight before so just read the reviews, who would want to waste their DSI/3DS system blocks for that rubbish, it's bad enough having to delete/re-download good games becuase of the DSIware storage problem. Curious to see if there are any reviews of it on E-shop, who would use/play those for an hour, if there are any it must be the developer...

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