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Topatoi Review

Topatoi game icon 150x150 Topatoi Review

Topatoi: spinning through the worlds is possibly one of the strangest little puzzler games I have yet played.

I’m gonna give you the story in the way it was presented to me. So you start in an air balloon and you’re a furry critter like a rescue ranger or something. Something goes wrong and your airship begins to crash (I could tell because the subtitles are the only way to understand what the hell the characters are saying). You crash on the bottom of this great tree and one of your crew members (a female critter) is snatched up by a black bird that, you learn from the natives of the great tree that the black bird is an angry god.

So it’s up to you to rescue her by travelling up the Great Tree and solving puzzles to get there. You’re not alone, because you’re got a GEMMA. GEMMA is you’re ground based, hovering ship thing that you play the entire game in. Frankly the small explanation of the back story wasn’t necessary but I can see why the developer felt that it was.

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Ok, one thing. The name of the ship is GEMMA, it’s not its real name but an acronym for something like gyroscopic environment something something… I don’t know. The point is that my girlfriend is called Gemma and I derived huge laughs from it when characters on screen would say “here…take the manual for the GEMMA” and I laughed saying that it was about time I got one. When the characters tell you to spin up the GEMMA to make it faster or to push it forward I had great pleasure laughing while she scowled at me from her seat. I slept on the sofa that night.

The analoge stick controls its direction and you can make it faster by hitting R2 repeatedly and L2 to slow its engines. You later get the ability to push and pull blocks and objects, jump and double jump. These are all at used at the expense of fuel which drips away slowly and you must collect in each level. It acts as a time limit and does make some levels that are much more tense, like when you get to the top few rows of Tetris or when the screen is full of balls in Zuma’s Revenge.

Topatoi is a frustrating puzzler that only suffers when the player rushes. I found myself rushing a section, falling off of the Great Tree, getting angry and rushing through again only to fall and repeat. It’s a game that requires patience from the player and sometimes when you really are concentrating and trying your hardest, an enemy comes out of nowhere and pushes you off! In contrast it’s very satisfying to push them off and watch them plummet to their doom.

The arcade mode is an awesome contrast to the story mode. They should have called it Topatoi: VR Missions because it’s presented as a virtual environment and it looks like a mix between Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions and the Wipeout games. The arcade mode also allows you to go head to head with your mates with multiplayer and with it increase the replay value.

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There are about 7 levels in the Story Mode with more unlockable and a plethora of Arcade Mode missions to get. The game also links out to the PSN store for future downloads and the promise of new worlds to explorer in your GEMMA so worth keeping your eye out if you like the game.

For £7.99 it’s a reasonable price I hope that the future worlds you get to spin through are nice and cheap as this game is aimed at the younger market. This is not marketed at your hardcore gamer. As content on the PSN goes, this is a very unique game and we need more of this kind of stuff. Small games that don’t cost much and last younger gamers longer.

Topatoi is a nice little puzzler with an interesting dynamic but I’m not sure if it works. Controls could have been tighter but I imagine if they were, it would hurt the games mechanic. The back story feels pasted on as if someone had a good idea for a puzzle game and then when it was completed, they put the sugar sweet environment and characters on top. I found it fun to an extent, its not going to win any big awards soon but this shouldn’t matter. Not the best puzzler out there, but original and fun for the younger generations. Reviewed on the PS3 (PSN download). “Use the GEMMA to pull that block”…you heard the man, honey…..

58/100

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