Tag Archive: world

Originally Published: January 13, 2011, on youtube.com/CGRUndertow

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed the Indie Game Cthulhu Saves the World for Xbox 360 from Zeboyd Games.

Originally Published: December 11, 2010, on Youtube.com/CGRUndertow

As a part of CGR Undertow, along with Derek Buck and Kevin Lind, we discussed just what is the greatest Super Mario Bros. game of all time.

Originally Published: November 29, 2010, on ClassicGameRoom.com

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed Scarface: The World is Yours for the Nintendo Wii from Vivendi Universal.

Originally Published: October 24, 2010, on NationalLampoon.com and ClassicGameRoom.com

At NYCC 2010, I had the chance to talk to the Creative Directors of the highly anticipated MMORPG, DCU Online, comics legend Jim Lee and Chris Cao.

A Whole New World

Originally Published: July 24, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

When you look at the surface of Treasure World for the Nintendo DS, there really doesn’t seem to be a lot to the game.

When you turn the game on you’re immediately introduced to a mystical being that travels the cosmos collecting stardust. As his ship travels around the Milky Way, it runs out of fuel and crash-lands in your backyard. He asks for you to help his robot assistant explore your world and collect enough stardust to refuel his ship so he can go back to exploring the universe.

The game is pretty straightforward, but the difference between it and any other game you will play is that the in-game exploration revolves solely around your real-world interactions. As you walk around the real world, like you’re on an actual treasure hunt, the game utilizes the DS’s wi-fi compatibility to latch onto new wi-fi signals. As you collect more signals and, therefore, more stardust and unique items, you get closer and closer to powering your mystical friends’ ship. This is the entire premise of the game; to walk around the real world and attempt to locate more unique signals in order to have the game’s spaceship return to the stars. It’s almost like a real-world treasure hunt (hence the name of the game).

It sounds simple, right? But when you add in that the collectibles can be used to make original musical compositions, the items can be used to help “disguise” your robot friend, and you can trade items with others who own the game, the game gets a new layer of depth that immediately made me think of the Pokémon series’ original catch phrase, “Gotta Catch’em All!”

After finding enough stardust, the mystical being blasts back off to the sky, but leaves his robot friend behind to help you continue to explore their digital universe (and your real one) as you attempt to collect all of the more than 2,600 items available via trade, stardust purchase, and random exploration.

The game isn’t going to blow you away in terms of looks or plot, but solely on the gimmick of the real-world interaction that the game revolves around. It is a solid premise and it will keep you entertained for a good amount of time as you carry your DS around, knowing that with every step you take you could be getting closer and closer to completing your collection. The game also includes a great safety feature in that you can actually close the DS and put it in your pocket as you travel and it will still collect items and signals. This way, you don’t have to worry about walking into lampposts as you try to collect more items.

Another nice feature that really appeals to the social aspects of the game is the ability to go online and trade codes you find for some of the more rare items in the game, as well as the ability to trade with friends via the DS’s already preeminent wi-fi capabilities.

Unfortunately, most people don’t have the means or the opportunity to just randomly explore and try to collect wi-fi signals in order to beat a video game so once you’ve gone through your daily routine for a few days, the game really loses its luster and appeal as you walk by the same wi-fi signals. This is especially difficult if you’re a child, who is the main target audience for the game, and you rely on your parents as your main source of transportation. Even if you’re out riding your bike, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find 2,600 wi-fi signals.

It’s pretty difficult, too, if you live in a more rural area where the wi-fi signals are fewer due to it being a less populated area. I walked around New York City and found half the treasures in the game in a single day of exploration. I don’t think someone in Omaha, Nebraska, would have the same ease in tracking down signals.

Still though, the collection and trade aspects and, as Nintendo has proven with the Wii, real-life interaction gimmicks are big nowadays, so this game is a solid pickup if you’re looking for something to keep your Nintendo DS warm for a while.

Ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest.

Graphics: 7.0: The visual aspect isn’t going to be the selling point for this game since you can spend most of your time playing the game with the DS closed. When you do look at the screen though, the graphics are average.

Audio: 9.0: An enjoyable, simple melody serves as the theme for the game and with solid SFX, so you can’t complain about the audio. The aspect that boosts this score, though, is that different items also represent different notes and you can compose your own, more varied music as you collect more items, a la old school, Mario Paint style.

Plot/Plot Development: 3.0: A friendly alien ship crash lands in your backyard and you walk around in the real world in order to fill up its fuel tank so it can blast off again. Obviously, plot was not a big consideration when making this game.

Gameplay: 5.0: This was difficult for me to score because there really isn’t a lot of “playing” going on in the game. The game is glitch-less, which is nice, but most of the game really is just you walking around the real world. So, in good conscience, I couldn’t give it a passing score.

Replay Value: 10.0: One of the major selling points is trying to collect all 2,600 treasures, and that reason alone is enough to give this a phenomenal replay score.

Overall (not an average): 7.0: The social aspects required to trade online and/or in person are nice, but not enough to make this a must-have title. What makes the game so interesting is the avatar customization and the gimmick of walking around trying to collect wi-fi signals like you are on a real-world treasure hunt, and considering there are 2,600 treasures to find, if you really want, you can devote a lot of time to this game.

Treasure World is out now for the Nintendo DS.

-Ray Carsillo