Kids. Kids love to make stuff, be it potato prints, finger paintings, felt pictures or just a general mess. Kids also love to show off their creations with parents, sticking their early works of art up on the fridge for all to see.
Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! is Nintendo passing gamers a blank canvas, and allowing you to create your formee, the world it lives in, to then share those creations with others.
The game starts by asking you to create your avatar to play as. The toolset is very limited at this stage of creation, but the ease of use is perfect. Upon completion of your creation, you are given a tutorial on controls. This is 100 percent stylus driven, a circle is placed in the middle of the lower screen, and pulling this around will cause the player to jump – if you point the cursor to the left or right of the circle you will move in those directions. Everything is intuitive for the player, up to this point.
The game throws you into an area for you to explore with no direction as to what to do, and then restricts you by imposing a time limit. It seems really out of place given how guided you are throughout the creation process. However, the game does open up later with challenges with these ranging from delivering a package to a poop challenge – where the player must eat enough fruit to do a Golden poop! The idea behind this repetitive gameplay is to amass more money, to then be able to collect items to use to customise more formees.
Once you have created five formees you unlock the StreetPass and QR modes, which is easily where the game shines and enables you to share your creation and receive Formees from friends or passers-by. There is so much scope for creating that the results can quite often be hilarious, which is made even more so when you use the Augmented Reality mode to snap these creations in real-world locations.
Whilst the game looks and sounds like the wonderful LocoRoco games on PlayStation Portable, it lacks the excellent design that Sony’s series has. The gameplay itself is not as much fun as you’d expect a Nintendo game to be – the exploration is repetitive and lacks any real focus, yet it is the creation toolset that grants so much variety that makes this downloadable title recommendable.
A good start for the future of games to be available through the Nintendo eShop, but ultimately one that has little use or value outside of its expansive creation tool. Hopefully, Nintendo will learn from such feedback and will release either downloadable content to vary the game better, or a sequel that builds upon this solid foundation.