Review: Pallurikio (Nintendo Wii)

Pallurikio
Publisher: Playstos Entertainment
Developer: Playstos Entertainment
Genre: Platformer
Release Date: 12/29/2009

Story/Modes:

A group of chubby cheeked children are playing with a strangely titled board game, the titular Pallurikio, and get sucked inside of it. Really, that’s the whole of Pallurikio‘s plot. Pick whichever children’s movie with a similar plot to compare it to, the truth is, the plot is completely unimportant. This is not Dragon Age: Origins we’re talking about, this is a puzzle style platformer. What matters are the gameplay modes.

Pallurikio has two primary play modes, Adventure and Time Attack. Truth be told, the lion’s share of your time spent playing will be in Adventure mode. The setup is simple enough: travel through an obstacle strewn maze in the allotted time, collecting points and time pickups. Each Adventure stage has cards to be collected, thus inserting a little reason to retry stages after passing them.

Story/Modes Rating: BAD

Graphics:

When I booted up Pallurikio for the first time, my wife inquired if I was playing an SNES game she had never heard of. To be honest, this game could easily pass for the long lost cousin of a game like DoReMi with its colorful, cheery graphics. This is not a knock; I will always hold a special place in my heart for this sort of brightly colored look. Unfortunately, everything looks uninspired and nothing comes across as original.

One noticeable weak spot is the lack of animation. Any animations on-screen are very lackluster and dull. Giving the ball more interesting facial expressions and animations would have gone a long way towards giving the game a personality or character beyond “Ëœblandly cheerful.’ The term “ËœFlash Game’ gets thrown around a lot in relation to this game and the flatness of the animation really takes away from the game.

Graphics Rating: BAD

Sound:

Each and every time I play a Wii game, I come away disappointed in the music. Is this a flaw in the system’s hardware or just the most obvious symptom of lackluster games? Even while playing the game, I could not put my finger on what was off about the music and sound effects, save that they were bland. Much like the graphics and animation, the sounds of this game were not just forgettable, they were unnoticeable.

Sound Rating: BAD

Control and Gameplay:

The ball that you (indirectly) control starts at one end of a labyrinth and has to make its way to the other. This is accomplished by using the WiiMote to draw an arrow. The arrow determines the direction the ball travels in and velocity of the ball. This control scheme seems like it was initially conceived for a mouse, because it does not feel natural on the Wii.

The maze you work your round protagonist through is littered with spikes and other obstacles, but the real problem is the way that the double jump works only occasionally. I found myself fighting the controller way more than the stages themselves or the time limits. The physics of the game are quite good, and there are flashes of fun when everything works. This is sadly too rare.

Control and Gameplay Rating: POOR

Replayability:

Each stage has a number of cards that are not necessary to move on, so collecting them is the primary mechanism for replay. Acquiring all the cards and getting the highest score you can on each stage is the only reason to play through the 50 stages Pallurikio has to offer. Unless you are truly hard up for entertainment, there is little incentive to slog through the game.


Replayability Rating: VERY BAD

Balance:

One thing that Pallurikio does very well is ramp up the difficulty and introduce new concepts. The learning curve is very friendly, even if getting all of the cards in one run does get fiendish as the game continues. The first world is full of challenging but not frustrating stages, while the sixth is a pain and a half. If you endeavor to finish the game, be prepared to swear up a storm. Just saying.

Balance Rating: VERY GOOD

Originality:

Once again, it is hard to make a genuinely original game in this era. From the plot to the look, however, this game feels like it was assembled via committee. There is no aspect of the game that shines in particular. If it were not for the goofy name, I doubt I would remember this game in a week.

Originality Rating: BAD

Addictiveness:

I played this game in 15 minute intervals. This is not because I was busy, but rather because I could think of a thousand other things to do. Seriously, I was making excuses to play Dragon Age: Origins, paint miniatures, do some yoga, eat almonds, shovel snow, and so on. If there is a bigger indictment of a game than me preferring to go out in single degree weather and shovel six inches of snow than play a video game, I can’t think of one.

Addictiveness Rating: BAD

Appeal Factor:

Do you like balls?

Do you like mazes?

Do you have ten bucks?

If you said yes to all three of those questions, I would still tell you that there is little reason to pursue this game. There are dozens of games available for download for the Wii at or below the same price point. Unless you have somehow finished every good game for the system, there is little for you here.

Appeal Factor Rating: BAD

Miscellaneous:

Pallurikio might make a good DS game. It does not take up a lot of space on the system. Really, I got nothing here.

Miscellaneous Rating: BAD

The Scores
Story/Modes Rating: BAD
Graphics Rating: BAD
Sound Rating: BAD
Control and Gameplay Rating: POOR
Replayability Rating: VERY BAD
Balance Rating: VERY GOOD
Originality Rating: BAD
Addictiveness Rating: BAD
Appeal Factor Rating: BAD
Miscellaneous Rating: BAD
FINAL SCORE: BAD GAME

Short Attention Span Summary
I cannot recall playing a game that was as uninspired, uninteresting, and unplayable as this. Pallurikio plays like a cell phone game or a Flash game. There is nothing to recommend or build on here. This is a bad game and does little more than cost 1000 points and take up space on my Wii. There are all sorts of fun games to be downloaded on the Wii. This is not one of them.