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Joystiq hands-on: Boingz (WiiWare)


The unlikely pairing of Real Networks (you know, the RealPlayer folks) and Ninja Bee (you, uh, might know – they've done Outpost Kaloki X, Band of Bugs, and the upcoming A Kingdom for Keflings for XBLA), Boingz is a spring-physics-based puzzle-platformer for WiiWare reminiscent of a slower-paced Lemmings.

In this case, the Boingz – stretchy, sleepy creatures – need to be directly maneuvered to various exits in the level, rather than just mindlessly marching forward. In addition to using the Wiimote to "pinch" their heads and snap them skyward at various angles, we were able to pin them to the environment in order to create bridges, or to rocks so that we might pick up sparkly underwater treasure.

Gallery: Boingz | 10 Photos

Planned for release on either the third or fourth Monday in October (the game is currently at Nintendo for approval), Boingz will offer 30 levels, which a Real Networks spokesperson reckons works out to between 5-6 hours of playtime. When we asked about a timer on screen, we were told that it's possible to play the levels as timed challenges, something that should help extend its longevity past the six-hour mark.

We found the puzzles simple, but they nevertheless made effective use of the elasticity of the Boingz. While the game would probably work if the creatures were maneuvered solely by flinging them around, they are actually directly controlled using the Nunchuk's analog stick.

The game has a charming art style and presentation, although we're not sure if the game mechanics can hold up for much longer than Real Networks' estimate. Anything over a few hours would probably be stretching it.

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