Marble Saga: Kororinpa is coming out March 17, 2009, and based on a taste of the game, it’s a welcome labyrinth-navigation game for the Wii. The basic goal is to get a ball from one part of the stage to the other, collecting gems along the way. The full version will include the ability to create your own stages after unlocking parts, balance board support and other goodies.
The Empty Lot’s initial levels offered a surprising bit of variety. One minute I’m in a forest, the next I’m in the arctic. The first two levels were simple and straightforward – you could tell right away what directions you’d need to go, and quickly dash through. Later levels introduced more complicated maze components like jumps, loops, moving platforms controlled by shifting the stage and a magnetic “tight rope” that the ball can stick to if you send it through the path correctly.
I was pleased by how incredibly easy it is to play. You only need the remote, and choose to either hold it horizontally or vertically. You then tilt and shift the remote to make the maze on-screen change, sending your chosen ball propelling through the stage. I honestly can’t imagine playing any of the five levels I tried on the balance board though – I’d be afraid of falling off while trying to tilt and shift so the level’d be in the proper position.
Marble Saga: Kororinpa seems fairly forgiving. There were infinite balls and no time limits. Of course, I did get a bit frustrated while playing the fourth and fifth levels in the demo, as I didn’t master either initially. The fifth stage, which is a snow level with occasional icy platforms, was particularly challenging. Thank goodness save spots started appearing in the fourth and fifth levels, so I wouldn’t have to redo tricky segments managed to pass.
I also tried the five levels on 2 player multiplayer with a friend (though up to 4 people can play at once), and found it quite entertaining. You basically race to see who can get through the maze the fastest. All players in multiplayer are on the same track, but you only control your own plane. So if you tilt your remote, you’ll only be tilting your track. Since you’re on the same track though, you can see exactly where opponents are and run into them to try and knock them off.
There were only two things that were bothered me as I went through the five levels. The first was that the velocity and speed of the ball can be difficult to gauge initially, and I found I had to drastically and quickly turn/flick the remote if I wanted to really make my ball go flying through a maze. Also, the fixed camera can get annoying. Sometimes, it didn’t show me areas of the track I wanted to see. But, it’s not like you could really manage the camera in addition to the normal world-shifting controls.
If this demo is any indication, Marble Saga: Kororinpa is looking pretty good.
Images Courtesy of Hudson.