Boing! Docomodake DS
Developer: AQ Interactive
Publisher: Ignition Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1
Words By:

Boing! Docomodake is one of those games, an unexpected delight. Like most of the best things, it's based on a simple concept: get to the end of the level and to rescue someone who's got lost. Plot doesn't really matter with this kind of game but bear with me and let's go through the motions anyway: on the day of the annual festival held in the Docomodake Forest, the Docomodake family is nowhere to be seen, they've all disappeared! You play as Papa Docomodake and guide him through various obstacles and challenges in order to find his family and get them to the festival on time. 'What the heck is a Docomodake?' I can hear you saying. Well, they're the mascots of NTT Docomo Inc. a Japanese telecom company.

Big Daddy Docomodake has a trick or three up his sleeves to help him on his search. You guide him through the various platform-type levels with the D-pad and buttons, but with a tap of the stylus he can release ‘Minis’ (that's mini Docomodakes, not the cars) that aid you. Minis can be made to simply follow you, thrown as missiles, or stacked to make ladders, or moved separately from Papa Docomdake to remote locations in order to trip switches or access areas too small for the big guy.

Unexciting and lacking in challenge at the start, Boing Docomodake slowly adds tricks and traps and gets you thinking more and more, to the point where one false step will mean that all you can do is quit and start the level again. I'm not sure I like these "irretrievable situations" and they are one of my few complaints about the game. The other is the on-screen layout, in which the pop-up screens can sometimes get triggered unintentionally because their icons overlay the play area.

Boing! Docomodake is just what the DS was intended for, and it's so darned perfect for the machine that it could be a Nintendo-developed game. It's good fun, and clever too - especially when it makes you use the D-pad and stylus simultaneously to control both Papa and a mini through tricky areas, Plenty of levels (7 areas with 8 levels in each) mean it'll take you a while to finish, and there's always the grading system (based on the number of coins you find along the way and the time you take to complete a level) to keep perefectionists coming back.

Best Bits

- Fun, yet challenging to play
- Progressive difficulty
- lots of levels
- replay value
Worst Bits

- Dead ends mean all you can do is quit and restart
- Poor icon layout

by: Princess BB

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