Armillo is a charming looking game which can be played by all ages due to its friendly nature. The bright, vibrant worlds set the scene well and make you want to explore the levels. Unfortunately the thoughtless story, unresponsive controls and a frame rate that dips lower than a deep sea diver, have the opposite effect on the player and make you want to press your home button faster than a speeding bullet.
Let’s rewind a second for now and go to the start. You play as Armillo, an armadillo who has just returned from an intergalactic vacation. You get to your home planet to find it it is under attack from Darkbots, led by their almighty leader Roto. They have come to take over your world as they have overpopulated theirs and collect your worlds orbs to restore energy.
As you roll around, you collect orbs. The more orbs you collect, the longer you get to spend on the bonus stage at the end of each level where you can collect even more orbs. This does give the orbs a great sense of purpose, instead of a certain amount of them giving you an extra life like in other platformers. There is another purpose for these orbs also. On the level select screen you can press up to take you to “Critter Corner” this is where you can buy extra lives, more hearts to start with etc.
There is a total of 5 worlds, at the end of every world is a boss. (Like you didn’t see that coming…) To access the boss level, you need to complete a secret level and have enough orbs collected. If you don’t, then you will have to go back to previous levels and collect more orbs or find the secret level within the ordinary levels. It’s a pretty straight forward system. The secret levels move from a 3D platforming space, to a 2D platformer. This mixes things up and does a great job of making the secret levels feel different.
Throughout the game there are certain power ups you can collect that give Armillo special abilities for a short amount of time. Like growing bigger or a orb firing rocket launcher. These all come in handy for destroying the Darkbots and saving the world. Unfortunately, the game looks like it could easily run on a ps2. Not utilising nearly enough of the Wii Us power to even look a little impressive. The style of the game is very simplistic, in a way that adds to its charm. The music in this game is a weird choice. Techno doesn’t quite go with the overall feel of the game and feels out of place. Music similar to that from the latest Yoshi game (Yoshis new island) would have been a much better fit. Something softer and more relaxing.
The use of the game pad is very minimal, displaying remaining lives, health and orbs collected. Though you can use off TV play for this title. This still feels underused to me. As we know, the game pad has a lot of potential, this is still yet to be truly harnessed and utilised well by developers. Fuzzy Wuzzy Games are no different. No motion or touch screen controls. But most painfully, no asymmetric play. This is what the machine was built for. Armillo isn’t the 1st game to do this and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but implementing this unique type of gameplay is instrumental for the console.
Armillo is a charming looking simple game that would appeal mainly to children. That being said, it has its fair share of flaws. The ever dipping frame rate being up there with the worst of them. If Fuzzy Wuzzy Games spent a little more time on Armillo, it could have been a more enjoyable game. It feels like, if Mario galaxy met Sonic colours, them two games had a fight and messed each others faces and voices up, you would then have Armillo.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Wii U code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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