The innovative minds at Aspyr Media bring us their latest and most innovative DS title to date: Treasure World!
- Unique idea, seemingly endless items
- Not enough to do in the game, should be cheaper, very reliant on your area's Wi-Fi
Treasure World is a great first step in trying to offer something new, but it ultimately feels like a tech demo rather than a full-fledged retail offering.
Treasure World is the latest innovation from Aspyr Media, best known previously for their ports of many popular titles such as Guitar Hero and Call of Duty. Treasure World's most appealing hook is the role Wi-Fi connections play in the game. With each signal the game finds, it rewards you with an in game item, which leads to a deep level of customisation. Every new item you receive can be placed in your "treasure world," a space used to display all of your collectibles. Treasure World allows you to keep your DS closed while looking for signals, encouraging players to travel around town with their system. Unfortunately, some items take up a lot of space and once you have a plethora of treasures at your disposal, you will be wishing for a bigger grid to arrange them on. Each piece has a different sound associated with it and you can combine these sounds for your own remix of some public domain tunes.
Your avatar can be modified as well, with unlocks also taking place via Wi-Fi. Not only can you earn a wide assortment of objects with your neighbour's Wi-Fi signal, in game money also comes your way, known as Stardust. You can spend this currency in the store. Items to purchase are similar to those found through your internet connection, including detailed character customisation options.
The story of Treasure World is a total fantasy, which doesn't exactly pull you in. You are collecting treasures to power a broken spaceship. After a few initial story text bubbles, you are left alone to focus on collecting.
Interactivity between the game and Treasure World's online site also offers something we don't usually see on the DS. Players can sync their progress with the game's website. The online space is an exact replica of what is available on the console, including access to your song and personalized character. There is also an aspect of becoming "friends" with other users. It is clear that developers spent ample time building this cross-compatibility.
Make Your Fortune... via Wi-Fi
The problem with Treasure World is once you find items and add them to your garden, that's about all there is to this game. If you are not a big collector, you will get bored quickly. Treasure World's core game mechanic is unique and original. Unfortunately, there is not much "game" in the product. The idea of Wi-Fi signals translating to in game upgrades may sound gimmicky, but it is an effective way to differentiate the multitude of portable games out there. There is, of course, the prerequisite of having the ability to obtain multiple unique Wi-Fi signals. For example, players in New York City will have a much more enjoyable experience with Treasure World compared to those living in rural Iowa.
With all of the items available in the game, I couldn't stop thinking of Scribblenauts, the highly anticipated DS game due out this September. However, Scribblenauts has seemingly limitless items but there are also actual puzzles to accomplish with them.
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