Nintendo's house brand of "minimalistic mechanics" downloadables, the Art Style series, is growing its ranks with two new titles: Art Style: light trax and Art Style: Rotozoa, both for WiiWare. The games were present (and looking close to finished) at the Big N's media gathering in San Francisco, and I took both for a spin -- quite literally in one case. Catch my thoughts after the break.
Art Style: light trax
Part light show, part racing game, light trax is actually a WiiWare reworking of the Japan-only GBA release Dotstream, which was released there as part of the Bit Generations series. Where the handheld original was a purely 2D affair, the console release starts off looking familiar enough, but soon takes a wild turn, bending into 3D space at various perspectives. Those multi-colored lines in the screenshots are the racers -- you're the white line and the gameplay is, in keeping with the series, very simple. D-pad movements relative to the lines' directions nudge the lines around obstacles and through boost pads ... but the more you move, the more momentum you'll lose. The whole thing's accompanied by a dynamic electronic soundtrack, so I agreed with the Nintendo rep who described the game as a "total trip." It's out this spring.
Art Style : Rotozoa
Rotozoa sees you controlling a tentacle-sporting microbe that can be rotated clockwise and counterclockwise using the 1 and 2 buttons on the Wiimote. The goal is to touch its tentacles to "goobugs" of the same color -- do it right and they grow longer, touch the wrong color and they shrink, reducing your life meter. It's simple and serene at first, but gets wild in later levels when the microbe adds several different tentacles (and colors), along with a lot more goobugs to grab. There's also a Snake Mode that has you navigating a single tentacle (or "snake") around the screen, grabbing goobugs to make it as long as possible without it running into itself. Rotozoa is also set for spring release.