The Average Gamer

Tokobot – PSP

Tokobot/Tokobot-cover.jpgAge rating: 7+

What is it?

Adventure, action, puzzle game with lots of cute, multi-talented little robots (called Karakuri -which is also the name of the game in Japan).

Is it fun?

Yes

Is it worth the money? £29.99 (from Play.com)

Yes, even though the 1 player game (story mode) is a little short.

Why?

Well, it’s just entertaining. It’s as simple as that. Pick it up, play it for a bit, save and then come back later and the Tokobots are just so cute!

Tokobot is great little game and there’s nothing quite like it on the PSP at the moment. I love the variety of ways in which you get to use your Tokobots to solve all the puzzles and beating the mid and end of level bosses. Also there are some really lovely touches with some of the boss animations that bring a smile to your face when you see them. Oh, and the title music is so chirpy and perfectly in keeping with the tone of the game. Tokobot puts a smile on your face everytime you load it up, which is a very good thing in my book.

However, as cute and enjoyable as Tokobot is, for the most part you are wandering around enclosed spaces (containing puzzles) peppered with the occasional outdoors bit. It’s only when you reach these outdoor sections that you get to experience puzzles on a grand scale (which is good). Problem is, these puzzles range from the mind numbingly obvious to the blindingly obvious (you find a new Tokobot power-up and low and behold you wander into the next room and you are practically told you should use your new power-up). Think The Crystal Maze but without the really hard puzzle rooms and Richard O’ Brien and other annoying team members. Also the camera can drive you nuts at times as it tries to find the worst possible angle for a particularly tricky manoeuvre. Oh yeah, you can’t run and nor can your Tokobots so you all lumber around the screen like a family of arthritic tortoises in slow-mo trying to avoid the equally slow (fortunately) moving enemies.

There are save points spaced throughout the game located following either a boss fight or a series of puzzles. However, these fixed save points (a la the early Tomb Raider games with their save crystals) can cause a lot of frustration as you redo areas again and again until you finally reach the save point. It’s not a bad save system, but its not perfect. Why couldn’t we just save anywhere like a number of other PSP games?

So in a nutshell it’s fun, very cute and has a number of faults that are overcome by the sheer enjoyment of playing with your Tokobots and completing all the puzzles.

Firmware version: 2.00 or greater.

Screenshots:
Tokobot-Vroom! Tokobot-NastyDrillBoss.jpg Tokobot-BigRobotBoss.jpg Tokobot-TokobotsFindArtifactPiece.jpg

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One Comment

  1. SHAZAM!

    18th Apr, 2006 at 5:04 pm

    I’ve been playing this game for a while, but in my opinion this game walks the knife edge between its great charm and being overshadowed by its faults. It’s incredibly difficult in places — not the puzzles, but executing the sequences of jumps correctly can get very frustrating in many places. (But then I guess it should be, it’s a platformer after all). It demands extreme precision quite often, and the PSP’s crappy analog stick can’t make me deliver that so well.
    There are numerous times when the game feels more like work than something fun to do. I *REALLY* like the artwork, the characters and their abilities, the environments, but the action doesn’t get to be real fun often enough.