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Minon: Everyday Hero is another example of bright colourful visuals combined with quirky game play. Falling somewhere among the Elite Beat Agents, Katamari and XXX games this experience is unique and engaging.
Minon answers the telephone and is tasked with finding objects for hapless individuals. A little Elite Beat style cartoon story introduces the dilemma, whereupon Minon jumps into the fray to save the day. He does this by running through the world on dominoes he creates to link objects (trees, houses and cars) together and provide a path to the item he requires.
Progress is controlled with just the Wii-mote's pointing to choose Minon's path. pressing B places dominoes down in groups of five while A causes Minon to stop. The level is completed when you reach the goal without using up all your dominoes. This is essentially a path finding game. Movement is not open but selected from a set of simple left, straight, right choices. While the number of paths through a level mean this is not totally linear, it does give the game a sense of restraint.
As I played I realised there was more to this than met the eye.
As I played I realised there was more to this than met the eye. To score highly you need to build combos by timing your Wii-mote gestures and jumps. As this builds you increase in speed and accordingly need to gesture faster. At times this is a real workout - for the wrist at least. This extra depth made more sense of my grades for each level and made me want to replay them to improve.
This replay value is the key to getting the most from the game. There are only 8 levels so you really need to be the sort of person who wants to collect every last item. Those that persevere are rewarded with further challenges in addition to better grades. I spent a happy evening honing my score from Keep On Trying to Very Well Done! - an achievement that I was proud to accomplish.
The two-player competitive mode extends the game and is played in split screen mode. Each player tries to complete the level in the fastest time whilst using power-ups to thwart their opponent. Beyond this though the opportunities for collaboration or direct combat in the same world have been pass up by the developers.
My kids ended up being quite happy to watch me play.
Although packaged to attract the gaze of younger family members, it's more likely to be older siblings or mum or dad who enjoy things the most. Young players will struggle both with the Wii-mote pointing and gesture combination as well as the staccato game play.
My kids (four and six) ended up being quite happy to watch me play though, and I can see why as it does look a lot like their cBeebies programs. Times I handed them the controller were usually met with 'you do it dad'. There were also one or two scenes in the level introductions they found a little unsettling. On occasion a character expresses anger or distress with a cartoon-y red demon face and this can be a shock to youngsters sensitive to this sort of thing.
This is a game that intrigues and beguiles more than it delivers.There is a great little platform puzzle game at its heart, and one that is a lot of fun. Had this been a WiiWare title, I think it would make much more sense. But as it is, my expectations are higher for a shop brought title. On that basis it fell a little short.
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