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Treasure World - first look

Kids like collecting things. Just ask any rabid Pokémon fan if you don't believe us. Publisher Aspyr hopes to tap into this compulsion with Treasure World. Designed to appeal to the seven to 12 year-old crowd (but interesting enough to hook us hard-noses too), this unique simulation title attempts to marry three worlds – virtual, real and online—together. Treasure World does this by utilizing the Nintendo DS's Wi-Fi capabilities. Players unlock the game's goodies by entering new Wi-Fi zones – drive from home to work, and you’ll be able to get different items. Go on vacation, and you’ll unlock even more new stuff in the game world. Therefore, Treasure World encourages kids to explore the game's virtual environment as well as the physical world. As a result, Aspyr believes Treasure World will be an excellent game for the young ones to take on trips.

How exactly does this translate to a tangible game that kids might enjoy? Well, first off, Aspyr is wrapping Treasure World in a cute, quirky aesthetic style and is coupling it with an oddball fantasy setting. At the start of the game, you will meet two characters who have crash landed on an intergalactic planet - Star Sweep, a character who looks like a star with limbs, and Wish Finder, his robotic assistant. To re-power their ship, you will have to keep the stars clean and use Wish Finder to collect treasure stars.

Since the core gameplay behind Treasure World is simply about collecting treasure, the entire experience is quite simplistic. Throughout your journey, you will collect equippable gear (that will appeal to both male and female players) and other random trinkets such as zombie figurines and tombstones. Players will be able to display their goodies through the game's "Spoils Mode," which allows players to decorate a 2D garden-like environment with their collected treasures. Using the zombies and tombstones, an Aspyr representative was able to create a unique-looking cemetery. If you find yourself being proud of your abominable landscape, you might be glad to hear that you can upload it online for others to peruse.

While the game's treasures are obtainable through Wi-Fi connections, Treasure World also allows players to obtain Stardust, which is in-game currency which they can use to purchase treasures outright. This allows a rural player, who might not have the advantage of multiple Wi-Fi zones, to nab all of the goodies that an urban player can.