Every now and again a game gets released that makes its players collectively ask “why? Why did this happen?” Then, inexplicably, the same exact game gets released on a completely different console after it has barely been changed at all. As you may have already guessed, this is exactly the case with Let’s Create! Pottery, which is now available as a downloadable WiiWare title.
Much like the DSiWare version, Let’s Create! Pottery begins with hardly any instruction on what it expects of you. You’re dropped right into crafting a pot out of spinning clay, then firing and colouring it with your very limited supplies. The game does provide relatively specific instructions on how the Wii Remote and Nunchuk are used to control the game, a control scheme which is a vast improvement over its touch screen counterpart, but there’s no instruction on what you should actually do with your newly learned actions. Once you’ve passed through this vague ritualistic inauguration, you’ll then receive an email to your in-game inbox explaining what to do next.
As you craft more pots, emails will be sent to you asking for different and more specific orders. Creating clay pots and vases to the specifications given to you will result in your earning money in the game, as well as receiving progressively more complex orders. There is also the option to freely create and decorate pots on your own without any explicit instructions, and there is the third option of shutting your Wii off and wonder why you spent any time and money on this in the first place. All three options are equally rewarding.
The item shop from the original game is retained in this one, and it’s just as frustrating as it always has been. Certain pieces that you create call for very specific brushes or design styles that can all be purchased at the shop, but the game doesn’t give you any sort of warning about which materials you’ll need. It can be very irritating when you spend 30 minutes trying to get the shape of your pot just right, firing it, then realizing that you don’t own the brush that you need to paint with, and that you don’t have the money to purchase it.
Aesthetically speaking, Let’s Create! Pottery is surprisingly relaxing. Both the music and the graphical style fit the intended feel of the game, and everything is very serene. The not-so-good news is that the frustrating, yet bland, gameplay immediately crushes the serenity that the audio and visuals do so well to provide. The most relaxing and zen part of this game is its Wii menu icon, and you don’t even need to start the game up to enjoy that bit.
What it comes down to is that Let’s Create! Pottery is meant to be a relaxing time-suck that your whole family can enjoy, but this simply isn’t the case. What should be a simple experience that requires little to no commitment is actually a surprisingly stressful endeavour if you plan on doing well. While the aesthetic fits the tone that this title is going for, and the controls are tight enough, what the game is expecting from its players is a bit too much to truly be enjoyable.
Let’s Create! Pottery sets out to offer a relaxing and easily accessible experience, but unfortunately misses the mark. While the improved controls do make this a more playable experience than its DSiWare counterpart, Let’s Create! Pottery is still far from being the zen-like experience that it sets out to offer. If you really enjoy spinning virtual clay then this might be the game for you, but the daunting lack of fun here is enough to make any potential potters turn away.