Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Emily the Strange Strangerous on Nintendo DS Impression

The Dark Horse gal gets a puzzling adventure on the DS which will delight series fans and puzzle fanatics alike

Released in the UK, Emily the Strange: Strangerous is a DS title not to be missed by fans of the Dark Horse property or puzzle game fans. This collection of puzzle games is weaved into a tale of missing kitties which puts Emily on the road to saving the world. Yeah, it’s strange but that’s what Emily does best and gamers need to pay attention.

Gameplay – Emily is strange, always dressed in black, saying odd things and hanging out with her four black cats, Mystery, NeeChee, Sabbath and Miles. Upon waking from a dream of catnapping, Emily finds her feline friends are indeed missing. As Emily follows clues and solves puzzles she must move between the real world and a parallel dream world using the abilities of her found kitties to assist her. A story mode with 6 chapters, 65 puzzles, multiple worlds, tools and accessories and her kitten acquired abilities will be at Emily’s disposal in a puzzle adventure that’s gripping and plain fun.

Graphics – Black, red and all shades of gray. Seeing Emily come to life and settings seen in the comics is a thing of beauty and outside the solid gameplay, the reason to own Strangerous. Many puzzle games are just skinned re-treads but Strangerous offers up an art style that’s unique and which made Emily jump off bookshelves in the first place. Not every game needs state of the art graphics, some just need a solid base that works and works well.

Sound – The music carries a strange vibe, as expected, and it’s haunting at times with some catchy beats. After a while these tracks will get repetitive as will the well placed sound effects but overall its’ a solid sounding DS cart, just nothing overly memorable.

Design – The story is solid and fun as Emily hunts for her missing kittens and the puzzles she encounters go from easy to very challenging with a nice ramp in difficulty. Moving from night to day, real world to dream world also adds multiple layers to many decent puzzles. Using each kitties abilities and seeing through their eyes makes this more than a skinned puzzle adventurer. There is good, solid depth and originality not to mention style to Emily the Strange.

Miscellaneous – Using the DSi to scan barcodes, to create Zonster’s (patchwork monster dolls, had to look it up) means owners of the system get some very unique content. The scanning in itself becomes a game worth playing and very addictive in this mobile gaming world.

Overall, Strangerous needs to come to the states as it’s a solid puzzle adventure outing with a beautiful art style and core creative true to its source material. Emily the Strange is a wonderful read and getting to play her in a world so true to her origins, well it’s a fans enjoyment but one not to be missed by gamers for solid puzzling fun.

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