Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales - first hands-on

We recently got our first hands-on look at Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales, the latest FF spin-off featuring one of our favorite icons of the series. Our time with the game was divided into three sections: minigames, microgames, and card battles.

First off, the art style of the game is unapologetically cute. Drawing inspirations from Aesop's Fables and other children's stories (hence the name Final Fantasy Fables), each minigame has a theme from a classic children's story. To go along with this, many of the 3D environments look hand-drawn, and feel like a children's storybook come to life.

Here are a few of the minigames that stood out to us the most:

Hide and Shriek
Up to four players compete to be the last Chocobo standing in a game of hide-and-seek against a group of Tonberrys. The map resembles a pop-up book full of trees and things to hide behind. If spotted by a Tonberry, you can use a roll attack, but if one sneaks up and catches you, you'll be out of the competition (but not out of the game completely - you'll be resurrected as a Tonberry to try and catch the remaining players).

Race to the Top
Reenacting the story of the Tortoise and the Hare, an overconfident Catuar challenges you, an Adamantoise, to a race. Up to four players can compete against each other, using the stylus to control an Adamantoise in a quick race (you can complete it in under 25 seconds if you're good) to the top of a hill. The key is to avoid falling boulders along the way by lifting the stylus away from the screen, causing your Adamantoise to curl up into its shell for protection.

Puzzled Little Piggies
Like the three little pigs of legend, this minigame is a race to construct houses using puzzle pieces scattered throughout the periphery. Players score points by successfully fitting pieces into the house-shaped template, and a bonus is awarded to those who are able to fit the last piece in to complete the house. This minigame is a good example of how the game is geared toward children - it's partly educational in that it teaches children to recognize shapes and patterns.