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Marble Saga: Kororinpa – hands-on

Back when we were kids, before Nintendo Wiis were even imaginable, we had a game called Labyrinth. It was made of wood, and the goal was to guide a steel ball through a wooden maze, dodging holes by balancing the ball on the board with these dials on the sides. Hudson Entertainment brings the fundamentals of Labyrinth in its upcoming Wii release Marble Saga: Kororinpa. We played through the demo and found that Marble Saga brings you more challenging mazes to go through, plus a few extra features.

Also the sequel to Kororinpa: Marble Mania, the gameplay in Marble Saga: Kororinpa is relatively straightforward. The goal is to guide your marble (or sphere-shaped animal, depending on what you choose in the game menu) through different stages by turning your Wii remote to tilt said stages. The rest is up to the law of gravity to move the ball. Each stage grows progressively more difficult than the last, introducing more obstacles to overcome and fewer wall barriers to keep your ball from falling off. And while you’re flailing your Wii remote around trying to keep the ball from dropping, you still have to collect every gem along the way before you reach the end of the level.

While playing through the demo, we found that the controls handle pretty smoothly. The game levels move accordingly to every tilt of the Wii remote and it never gets too sensitive to where you have to limit your movement.

And you don’t only have to use the Wii remote to play the game. Marble Saga will feature some stages that incorporate use of the Wii Balance Board, which we unfortunately didn’t have a chance to try out. With the Wii Balance Board, you can shift your weight around to tilt the game level. The game also features the ability to connect up to four players in offline split-screen multiplayer. Players can then race to see who can complete each stage the fastest.

Marble Saga: Kororinpa offers a lot of variety in game levels, with some taking place in a forest and a desert. Get this, Marble Saga even has a dreaded ice level (the slick ice surfaces in this level is reminiscent of the pain and agony going through ice levels in other games). The final release will have 150 levels for you to twist and turn through, including levels in outer space and underwater.

Marble Saga releases this spring, and so far it feels promising. Not only will it offer more diversity in its levels than its predecessor Marble Mania, it will also feature an editing mode so you can create your own levels.

Feb 4, 2009

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