During E3 2011, I had the opportunity to sit down with Intrinsic Games for a preview of their upcoming Nintendo DSiWare game, Amoebattle. Intrinsic Games is aiming to make Amoebattle a top game offering on Nintendo’s DSiWare lineup. Among the group of developers creating Amoebattle are developers from Command & Conquer 4. Why does that matter? Besides Amoebattle being an RTS (real-time strategy game), you can be assured that an experienced RTS development team is working on utilizing the Nintendo DSi touch and dual screens to the fullest.
The version of Amoebattle I played is still along early development, but it was clear that Amoebattle has huge potential as not only a great downloadable Nintendo DSi game, but the potential to introduce real-time strategy games to a whole new audience.
Amoebattle puts the player in role of a microbiologist who must direct, you guessed it, amoebas in a variety of missions. Things start out simple, as you are guided by your robot assistant. The writing in the game was lighthearted and fun (during game boot sequence, says “shovelware aborted”), complementing the colorful graphical style. Under the guise of the cute graphics and lighthearted talk is a deceptively deep RTS, primed with touch screen mechanics. Players can command a squad of up to 25 amoebas, with three distinctive classes: herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores. Within each of these classes are three variations, which also vary in strength, health regeneration, and attack ability. Players can also multiply an amoeba when they are well fed. In my gameplay demo, I was able to position my amoebas in a safe area and multiply my dwindling group of 4 amoebas to a full stock of 25.
The control scheme is very flexible and worked great on the DS touch screen. Using the stylus, players can draw a circle around a group of amoebas to select and command. Amoebas can be assigned to various squads (up to 4), for quick selection. As in any RTS, there is a fog of war, with more of an area revealed as the player’s amoebas pass over it. The top and bottom screens can be interchanged with the press of a button, so amoebas can be directed using the in-game mini map. Intrinsic Games is working hard to make this RTS experience as intuitive as possible. After a solid hour or so with Amoebattle, I’m definitely loving what I’ve seen so far. Amoebattle will be Intrinsic Games’ first self-published title. Keep a lookout for it when it arrives on the Nintendo DSi Shop. Visit intrinsicgames.com for more details and updates on Amoebattle.
DodoGo! Robo Available for DSi (DSiWare)
Game Developer: Alien After All
Game Publisher: Neko Entertainment
Release Date: April 18, 2011
Official website: nintendo.com
DodoGo! Robo review:
It is rare that I get a chance to review DSiWare games, especially since the Nintendo 3DS has been released. Because of this, it is so difficult find such amazing games like DodoGo! Robo from Neko Entertainment. Do not be scared by the unique name. It is a fun puzzle game that includes mind-bending mechanics. Players have to save endangered eggs as they traverse some insane environments. These levels are filled with traps and you have to use the handful of items to guide those eggs to the finish line. At 200 DSi Points ($2), this DSiWare game is low in cost and huge in value.
In the small download of DodoGo! Robo, there are over one hundred levels. Just think about that. That is about two cents a level, a ridiculously good value. The tutorial levels are easy, as they should be, but some of the later ones encompass a lot of work to save those poor little eggs. You have to jump them, use pinball style bumpers, set fires and deform the terrain just to keep them from falling to their imminent death. You do have the ability to pause the action and replace some of the items you have placed. I found myself seeing the placements even before I used them during some of the later levels. That means I was taught well how to play, which is great for such a complex title.
The visuals are simple, but it does not deter from the quality. It allows you to stay focused on the task at hand. As for the audio, it does not fair so well. I almost had to turn it off by the end of the game due to its lack of variety. I found myself hearing the song on some levels so many times I couldn’t stand it anymore. But this is a small issue that is easily cured. Unfortunately, I did not play the first title in the DodoGo! series, so I cannot compare the two games.
Although the DSi Shop can be a place filled with games that you may never heard of, there are many hidden gems. DodoGo! Robo is definitely one of those games. Neko Entertainment has released a low cost, solid puzzle game that anyone can enjoy. Just make sure that you have a stylus and one that can be used heavily. I played this game so much, my hands started to hurt, and that is far from a bad thing. Use the 200 DSi Points and download this game. DodoGo! Robo is more than worth it at many times the price.
Thanks to Neko Entertainment for making this review possible!
Nintendo has announced today’s new downloadable games arriving on the Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop. Check the list below for the newest additions to WiiWare, DSiWare and Virtual Console. Cosmonaut Games releases a demo for their original WiiWare game, Dive: The Medes Islands Secret. Alongside the release of the Dive WiiWare demo, the developer released a thank you video for its fans and supporters (to which they were gracious enough to mention GamingBits!). Watch the video below (or here on YouTube), which is a very thoughtful look into some of the game’s development, team and notes from the game’s developers. Cosmonaut Games has also provided a free download of Dive’s official soundtrack, which you can get here, complete with a printable CD case cover. Now is a great time to check out what you may have missed in Dive: The Medes Islands.
WiiWare: Arcade Essentials – 500 Wii Points ($5)
WiiWare demo: Dive: The Medes Islands Secret (demo version) – See trailer below.
Virtual Console: Natsume Championship Wrestling – 800 Wii Points ($8)
DSiWare: G.G Series D-TANK – 200 Nintendo DSi Points ($2) Shapo – 500 Nintendo DSi Points ($5)
Nintendo America has announced today’s newest downloadable games and demos for the DSi and Wii. PopCap Games releases the DSiWare version of Plants vs. Zombies, with a gameplay mode not included in the DS release: an exclusive mini-game called Zombie Trap. Give Mix Superstar a spin on the Nintendo Wii from the new demo today. Try it out and hear the unique mixes you can create using the Wii Remote. See all the new DSiWare and WiiWare games and demos below, available starting at 9am PST today. Screenshots for each game can be seen below as well (or see screens here).
WiiWare: Liight – 500 Wii Points ($5)
WiiWare demos: Mix Superstar (demo version) DSiWare: Plants vs. Zombies – 800 Nintendo DSi Points ($8)
Rabi Laby – 500 Nintendo DSi Points ($5) 5 in 1 Mahjong – 200 Nintendo DSi Points ($2)
Nintendo America has announced today’s lineup of games arriving on the Wii Shop and DSi Shop at 9am PST. BIT.TRIP FLUX brings the conclusion to the BIT.TRIP game series. A couple of WiiWare demos will be available, including ZALLAG’s Gods vs. Humans. DSi gamers have three additional games to select from. See what’s new below, including screenshots for each new game available (or see screens here).
WiiWare: BIT.TRIP FLUX – 800 Wii Points ($8)
WiiWare demos: Gods vs Humans(demo version) Pong Toss Pro – Frat Party Games(demo version)
no new releases DSiWare: My Little Restaurant – 500 Nintendo DSi Points ($5) Magnetic Joe – 500 Nintendo DSi Points ($5) Monster Buster Club – 800 Nintendo DSi Points ($8)