The Average Gamer

Gamescom Round-up: Diggs Nightcrawler, Mensa Academy and Quirkle

In this latest gamescom 2012 round-up find out about Sony’s upcoming Diggs Nightcrawler for Wonderbook game and Square Enix has two new mobile games – Mensa Academy and Quirkle – that might make you smarter. I say “might”. No guarantees here.

Diggs Nightcrawler:

Diggs Nightcrawler - On The Streets
Diggs Nightcrawler tells the story of a bookworm detective called Diggs Nightcrawler who is framed for the murder of Humpty Dumpty in Library City. You have to help Diggs solve the murder and prove his innocence. This is the first game from Academy Award winning animators Moonbot Studios. It’s made for Sony’s Wonderbook and aimed squarely at 7-11 year olds.

The game is an interactive story which will take around two hours to complete from start to finish. Diggs and other characters from the game, like Miss Itsy-Bitsy Spider and the Three little Pigs (Police Officers) are all aware of the player and will address them directly.

The story won’t progress without the player’s input. For example, Digg’s has to get into Humpty Dumpty’s Jazz joint called The Frying Pan to look for some clues. The problem is the bouncers won’t let him inside. So the player has to partly close the Wonderbook which bends the telegraph wire to allow Diggs to grab it and climb inside the first floor window. Otherwise Diggs will be stuck outside the club.

The characters in the game have been heavily influenced by the films of Humphry Bogart. Both Diggs and Humpty Dumpty are modelled on the Sam Spade and Kasper Gutman characters from The Maltese Falcon. Miss Itsy-Bitsy Spider is also based on the actress Lauren Bacall who appeared in a number of films with Bogart.

I asked Moonbot Studios lead story/concept artist Adam Volker if Diggs Nightcrawler was the type of game that you can just dip in and out of when you, or your child, has the time. He said “we are hoping that every spread [of the book] is going to encapsulate an experience. There are points when the game will pause and wait for you to interact, where you could take a break. It’s going to remember exactly what page you are on. Once you beaten it, we’ve talked about going back to every spread individually and having them pick up where they left off too.” [Is Volker actually a human? What’s it like encapsulating the spread interaction of the experience? – Ed.]

Diggs Nightcrawler will be released during 2013 for PlayStation 3.

Mensa Academy:

Square Enix is readying a touch screen version of Mensa Academy which you can play now on your 3DS, Wii or PC. This game will make you really good at IQ tests through tons of practice questions, targeted coaching and 15 minute exams.
Mensa Academy - Question
This mobile version can also post your “brain score” to Facebook, if you are brave enough. The minimum brain score possible is 40 so most people should at least have some sort of score to post…

Question packs are in the works for when you got bored of all the preloaded ones. Square Enix are thinking of making some of these packs may be event based, like a Christmas question pack.

Mensa Brain Academy will be released for iOS during Oct/Nov 2012.


The multi-award winning tile-based board game is going mobile. The aim of the game is to score as many points as possible by matching up different coloured and shaped tiles on a board. There’s an in-depth description of all the rules here.

You opponent can either be the computer or another human. Cross-platform play will also be be supported so you’ll be able to battles against other people while on the move. However, colour blind players might find the game tricky to play as I didn’t see any shading to help differentiate the colours from one another.

Quirkle will be coming to Android, iOS and Facebook later on this year.