Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! Review
Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! was the first Nintendo published game developed specifically for the eShop. It came during a time when the eShop was still finding itself. Sure there were some great Gameboy games on the Virtual Console and some cool 3D remakes of classic games, but a new IP from Nintendo is exactly what the service needed. It was first announced during Nintendo’s E3 2011 conference, but it was then known as Picture Lives! Thankfully, Nintendo changed the name to something a little more creative, but forget the name, is Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! worth a look?
Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! doesn’t rely on a story to drive its gameplay, instead the player is handed the drawing board and told to go crazy. Upon starting Freakyforms you will only have one option and that is to create your first Formee! Formees are the main “characters” and must be created with your imagination and your imagination only. I was hooked right from the moment my first Formee was complete; it is surprisingly a lot of fun to create these little creatures and then watch them come to life. You begin with just a few basic shapes and parts, but more unlock as you advance through the game. You will get to play around with wheels, fins, wings and a ton of other accessories as well. You can use a maximum of 20 parts on your Formee; this is more than enough in my experience as I’ve always managed to complete Formees with plenty of extra parts left over.
After creating your little bugger you must then give it a name, choose a catch phrase for it, and give it a voice! Creating these guys is my absolute favourite part of the game! You can give each Formee its own identity and I’d like to think that’s why this aspect is so addicting. However, you are limited in the number of Formees you can create per day. Formees are brought to life with hearts of which you only have five. After using a heart you are left with an empty container that takes a day to replenish. It may seem like an odd restriction, but there is a pretty good reason for it in my opinion.
After you finish creating a Formee you will then get to explore the world of Freakyforms. You will be controlling your Formees with the stylus only which works quite well. You tap and hold the stylus outside the blue circle to move your Formee and use the blue circle to jump and manipulate the Formee’s body. You can talk to other Formees by pressing L and you will then receive some kind of quest.
Freakyforms can be best described as an open world platformer that doesn’t bind you to specific objectives, though there is a time limit to keep in mind. You must explore each area to find food, keys and treasure chests, coins and even quests from fellow Formee friends! Quests are the only thing that I enjoyed in this portion of the game because you get to do something different. You receive objectives such as: smash X amount of bricks or deliver gifts to the Formees. Even though these give you something else to accomplish, they often repeat which gets old fast.
After creating five Formees the world begins to expand! You will get to explore new areas like the ocean and even explore expanded versions of existing areas. This is where the restriction rears its head; you can only create five Formees a day, so it’s technically impossible to complete the game in one day. I like the restriction because it can extend your time with the game, but I found myself exploring an area once and creating four more Formees just to see the next area. Love creating Formees and watching them come to life, but feel that the actual gameplay is just an afterthought.
Besides exploring the world and creating Formees, you can also change the way the scenery looks. I’ve found myself making the water red and the sky grey to create the most interesting scenery possible. You can also find challenge packs that ask you to create a Formee that closely matches the shape of its shadow; the result is often hilarious. In addition to all the above, there are also achievements for those that want to get the most out of the game and some neat Augmented Reality features as well.
Freakyforms: Your Creations Alive! isn’t particularly impressive graphically. It is quite basic, but the customization can really make the game a lot more interesting. You can make the world as colorful as you want, or as dull as you please. I was also quite disappointed with the 3D effect as it seemed to be non-existent in this game.
Freakyfroms actually has a pretty solid soundtrack. Most tracks fit the atmosphere quite well which is perfect for this title. There are a ton of quirky, strange melodies that can be quite catchy. No masterpieces to be found, but the sound effects and music fit the game quite well.
There is a ton of fun waiting to be had with Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! Creating Formees is very addictive and watching them come alive is charming. Exploring the game’s world is neat at first, but becomes repetitive fast. The power of creation is no doubt the highlight amongst rather shallow gameplay, but there is a ton of content to counter that. The older crowd might not look at this game twice, but children will likely have fun for weeks on end.
Obtainment: Review Copy