Hands-on with LocoRoco

We have no idea what the little orange blobs in Sony's upcoming LocoRoco are singing, but it sure is catchy. As we tilt the game's 2D landscape to roll them around their colorful, impossibly endearing world, the little guys lip-sync to a cheery, all-gibberish rock song that makes us yearn for the game to hit stores. As one of our editors put it, "I feel so happy I could cry!"

Catchy tunes and cute visuals are just two of the things that make the one-level LocoRoco demo we tried awesome. Playing (and sounding) like a bizarre mix of Katamari Damacy, Lemmings and Sonic the Hedgehog, LocoRoco casts players as the game world itself. Using the PSP's triggers, you'll tilt each level to guide a little blob over hills, up cliffs and through hazards, finding secrets and fighting shadowy monsters along the way.

As your blob eats the red flowers that litter the landscape, it'll grow in size until it's a gigantic, quivering mass of orange. If you come across tight spaces, you can break it down into component blobs (one for each flower eaten), and then shake the earth, forcing them to re-form, once you're through. Be careful, though - the black, cloudy creatures that roam the world are hungry, and if you're not quick, they'll devour you one blob at a time.

Tilting the world and getting eaten might not sound like a lot of fun, but LocoRoco somehow pulls it off spectacularly. It could just be the game's charm - after all, dodging long-legged stomping monsters, getting launched through spiral loops by friendly weevil-creatures and singing the moon awake do have a cute appeal all on their own.

Mikel Reparaz
After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.