Review: Incredible?... not quite.
The Wii is a prime platform for the twitch, maze-running titles that have been conspicuously absent since shortly after the console launched. Sega started the Wii's life off well with the third console title in the Super Monkey Ball franchise, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
. While the title's campaign mode was enjoyable, Sega dropped some of the best multiplayer aspects in an effort to include a horde of less fleshed-out minigames.
Hudson Soft followed up with Kororinpa: Marble Mania
a few month's later. While the title's name is conspicuously close to the epically awesome NES title, Marble Madness, the gameplay is less about quirky obstacles (acid pools, jumping spring things, evil marbles) and more about mind-boggling stage design. However, Hudson Soft's effort did not offer much in terms of hourly gameplay, barely extending past the five hour mark. A pitiful amount of time for a full price title in this day in age.
While Sega has been busy releasing Monkey Ball titles for other platforms, Hudson Soft took their main criticism to heart, promising to offer longer gameplay in the upcoming sequel to Kororinpa, Kororinpa 2. Hoping to capitalize on the lull in the market, Digital Leisure announced The Incredible Maze last Summer, releasing it months later in the middle of October.
It Is Just Bad
There is no point in beating around the bush on this one. The WiiWare service has been plagued with utterly terrible games, causing critics to beg Nintendo to return to the "Nintendo Seal of Approval" days (even though the Seal promised nothing more than that the game would work in an NES or SNES, it's the thought that counts). Although there are some diamonds in the rough
, The Incredible Maze just adds to the digital pile of crap currently flooding the service.
Creating a raw clone of the old board game does not require much in the way of game design skills. Aside from collecting a package of levels, an artist and programmer is all that is needed to complete the title, especially when the target platform is the WiiWare service. The product that Digital Leisure turned out looks as if it was a quick prototype of the upcoming game, rather than its final form.
What is worse is that the game plays exactly as it looks. The 1980's tilesets are met with horrendous controls, unplayable level design and...it's just crap. The shinning star in title is the amount of levels included, 30 to be exact, but the first 20 can be completed in under a half hour. Honestly, my group in Experimental Game Design class at Drexel University created far better games in Flash with only two weeks to design and implement.