When LocoRoco was originally released for the Sony PSP, it was hailed as a beacon showing that the console could come up with original games, rather than just the legion of home console knock offs that are the (usually) black beauty’s speciality. It’s been a long time since that day, so how does this mobile version stack up?
Well, it’s similar in most respects. You control a little yellow LocoRoco as he rolls around a colourful environment, collecting Berries and Pickories. Berries make you LocoRoco grow in size, while Pickories are present for the sheer joy of collecting stuff.
Growing is an important concept in the game. Press 5 and your LocoRoco splits into a multitude of little miniature doppelgangers, which can be blown along by the breeze or fit through gaps easily. The game’s designed to make good use of this feature, with levels packed full of tight squeezes and wind currents that’ll blow you to otherwise unreachable areas.
To match the oddity of this ‘break up’ dynamic, the controls are unlike those of most other mobile platformers. You really tilt the screen rather than directly moving your LocoRoco about. The 4 and 6 keys move the screen left and right, while pressing both builds up a jump. The longer you hold them, the higher your LocoRoco will jump. You have to watch out as you roll about the place though as the levels are also populated by all sorts of dark-coloured nasties.
Add these controls to the cute, stylised visuals and LocoRoco Hi can safely hold onto its oddball crown. Conversely though, actually playing the game is quite straightforward. You just have to make your way from one end of the level to the other, in every level.
Unfortunately, the physics aren’t quite as fluid as those we enjoyed in the PSP original, although the basic sense of off-kilter bouncing about has been kept alive. We do miss the full multimedia experience from the original though, where the hugely catchy music made up the backbone of the game’s charm.
This, along with the less organic feel to the game’s movements, mean that although LocoRoco Hi is a successful stab at bringing the PSP original to mobile, it doesn’t have the same impact. Since the rolling of the Rocos began, we’ve seen Gish and Sola Rola make their mark on the mobile scene, and their similar breed of bouncy gameplay makes LocoRoco Hi seem every so slightly drab in compariso, in spite of the colourful scenery.
Stranded 2:Mysteries of Time info
Website/Demo: Glu’s website