Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! (3DSWare) Review

Our month of platforming games continues with a unique take on the genre with Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! for 3DSWare. The creation of formees and scenery makes for an entertaining game, but is it worth the price of admission? Read my review to discover the truth for yourself.

Superfreaky, yeah.

The 3DS eShop has started off slow. Its first title was an iPhone port of Let's Golf only in 3D, and the added depth in the version was not too particularly impressive. Then came Pyramids 3D which was a puzzle game. Now it seems 3DSWare is hitting its stride as it has a new title akin to 5th Cell's Drawn to Life. It is known as Freakforms: Your Creations, Alive!, and for $6.99 it can be yours. Is this game one you should want to get your freak on with?

To start things off in Freakyforms, you meet your guide and are tasked with the creation of your very first formee, the creatures that inhabit your custom planet. You are limited in what you can do for the time being, but as you create more formees, the options such as arms, legs, and wings are added and are available to use. For formee creation, you only can utilize twenty unique parts. This limitation might hold some players back from designing complex characters, but I never had a problem with the finite amount of parts. You can slide one of 20+ colors onto the various shapes of your formee, making it as colorful or as drab as you like. After the shape-building phase is complete, you give your formee a name, a voice (one of several such as girly, robotic, playful, or old), and give it a five character phrase that it is wont to say.

Then comes the exploring part. At the beginning of the game, your planet is quite small, and there is but one area you can visit, the meadow. By making more formees, your planet expands, sometimes even adding new areas such as the ocean and the city. New areas mean new formees to befriend by completing quests for them. Quests range from carrying a formee on your back and taking them to the flag to eating a number of a certain food that grows on the numerous trees to breaking a set amount of blocks to delivery quests. After completing a quest, you can purchase that formee from your catalog. Now you can play as them at your leisure from a horse to a teddy bear to a monkey.

By land...

Exploring the lands of Freakyforms is best described as a semi-sandbox platformer. You move around a side-scrolling area, collecting coins, accepting quests, and gathering keys to open locked treasure chests which contain new scenery, accessories such as ties, baseball caps, and drills, and coins. You only have a limited amount of time to search the land each time, and any quest that is currently in progress when the clock hits zero will be canceled and will have to wait for next time.

By sea...

Gobbling up food such as fruits, vegetables, and meat will eventually have eggs of varying colors pop out of your formee. Collect these eggs, and you'll be asked to hatch them forcefully with a tap or several of your stylus. If you manage to get lucky and find the sweet spot and tap it in one try, you'll receive a bonus jackpot of coins. Coins are used to purchase befriended formees from the catalog. There are a myriad of formees to find, and they are natural to different areas such as the meadow, ocean, and city. Different eggs offer different amounts of coins. Multicolor eggs award more coins than plain white eggs. Occasionally, you'll be rewarded with a formee design from the insides of an egg. These begin Creation Challenges where you get a silhouette of a formee and do your best to recreate said formee from the brief description provided.

Freakyforms is entirely controlled with the stylus. A blue circle placed in the center of the touch screen moves your formee around the worlds of the game. To jump, you hold the stylus the opposite direction you intend to have your creature leap, so in essence you're slinging your formee like a rubber band into blocks, onto platforms, and through the air. While this is an intuitive control method, it does not have the precision of, say, a d-pad. Trying to carefully climb a set of narrow platforms is an effort in futility and frustration.

By air...

Creating new formees is a simple process, and that's good, too, as you'll constantly be manufacturing creatures and characters to expand your planet. The top down menu on the top of the touch screen shows the various parts you utilize to make a formee: head, body, eyes, noses, mouths, arms, legs, wings, wheels, etc. The icons on the right side shrink or grow these parts at your discretion. If your own formee making abilities aren't up to snuff, you can always point your 3DS's outward facing cameras and use QR codes to materialize other players' formees or turn on StreetPass to download random strangers' creations as you walk around the mall, a college campus, or ride the subway to work or school.

Use a preexisting formee, or create your own!

Freakyforms is quite interesting graphically. It's almost unsettling to see a formee with crooked legs saunter through a meadow. The visuals here are simplistic enough to give the player a healthy amount of customization of scenery such as trees, clouds, the sky, houses, and much more. The 3D effects showcase a substantial offering of depth, and it is superbly impressive. When it concerns sound, it can be grating hearing your formee gab constantly, and the music can be off-the-wall most of the time. It is an acquired taste for sure, and the childlike presentation offered may put the Call of Duty crowd off. Their loss.

Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! is an enjoyable downloadable game for Nintendo's start-up 3DSWare line of software. The catch that you can only create so many formees a day prevents players from expanding their planet too quickly, and the vast amount of formees to befriend and purchase their designs make for certain that players will be able to get a lot of bang for their buck. While the jumping controls do not offer the amount of precision I'd prefer, they are serviceable enough for what they intend. If you are searching for a different experience from the norm, Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! is a title that beckons with its eccentric charm and long-lasting gameplay.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.0/10]

1 comment:

Matt Sainsbury said...


Yeah, completely agree with you on this one. I didn't mind the imprecise in-game controls so much, since I don't really approach this as a "game."

The main part of this - the making of critters, they've got down almost perfect, so that's allI really needed.