Eco-Creatures: Save the Forest - hands-on

Dec 18, 2007

As we saw inour last preview, Eco-Creatures: Save the Forest, is a cutesy real-time strategy affair with a bit of an environmental twist.Starring what appears to be a large, sentientdurian (quite possibly the most controversial fruit in the world), and an army of adorable wood spirits, the game tasks you with vanquishing tree-chopping industrialists and restoring your forest home to its former greenness.

Each battle is laid out across a large field, with a map displayed on the top screen and all of the action controlled with the stylus on the bottom. There are four types of units you'll need to keep track of, each with its own specialties. First there's Dorian, who can perform powerful magical attacks and gather wood spirits to one location quickly. Then there are the three types of Wood Spirits, Ecolis (squirrels), Ecomon (flying squirrels), and Ecoby (beavers). Wood Spirits are quite dynamic - not only do they evolve as they level up, changing their appearance and special skills, but they also have individual personalities that dictate how likely each of them are to do things like follow orders or continue fighting even when badly hurt.

In most battles, you can only lose if your Mana house (your base) is overtaken by enemies. As long as it remains intact, if you or any of your allies are KOed in battle, they'll respawn there infinitely and resume fighting. Since you can also set any of your wood spirits to automatically guard/defend the Mana house, it's almost impossible to lose, especially in earlier battles.

Life is nature's way of keeping meat fresh.