This watery adventure may make you sweat bullets.
There’s still not a lot of truly original content on the Wii these days, but Konami has been trying their hardest to change that. They started with Elebits, and they’re next brand new IP for the Wii is Dewy’s Adventure. It’s the story of a little droplet of water who has to save the world from Don Hedron and the evil Black Rain.
To save the world, players tilt stages which Dewy then slides around on. The Wii Remote is held "NES style". Players tilt the remote in order to tilt the stage and move Dewy. The mechanic is very similar to that of Sega’s Super Monkey Ball series. Konami has built on this formula, adding in numerous platforming elements, which transform the game into a hybrid of the two genres. While rolling around, Dewy can jump and then attack his enemies with a butt-stomp attack. The heroic droplet might be in for a little trouble if this were his only attack. Thankfully, Dewy’s arsenal expands once the weather changes. By pressing up or down on the D-pad, players can alter the temperature of the world. Heating things up will cause Dewy to evaporate into a rain cloud, giving him the ability to launch a devastating lighting-bolt attack on large areas of the world below. Cooling things down freezes Dewy into a sharp ice crystal, and grants him a very useful spin attack.
In addition to granting Dewy special powers, the weather can also be used to affect the levels. Dewy cannot touch pools of water in his droplet form, since they’ll suck him in. Freezing the world turns lakes into frozen surfaces which Dewy can slide right across. There are times when you’ll have to switch between forms quickly to take out a bunch of bad guys, and the boss fights are especially fun. All the mechanics work very well together, but there’s one problem: this game is hard.
Challenge isn’t a bad thing in games. On the other hand, wrestling with controls is. Dewy’s stages aren’t especially diabolical, and most of his enemies are pushovers. The real difficulty of the game is a result of its controls. They can be mastered, and those who put the time in to do so will undoubtedly have a fun time with the game. The rest of us will be thankful our Wii Remotes are strapped to our wrists so we can’t throw them through our televisions. Dewy’s Adventure requires a great deal of finesse. Even on the opening stages, which are quite easy, there are times when you’ll swear you’re doing exactly what you should be doing to be successful; however, Dewy will still end up flying off the stage into the abyss below. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was a rare occurrence, but it isn’t.
It’s worth noting that Dewy’s Adventure is chock-full of stuff to do. You can take screenshots at any point in the game (provided you have “film”), post them to your Wii Message Board, and then send them to friends. The game will also post notes for you on the message board. If you’re having a particularly hard time with a boss and decide to try again later, you may notice a new note on your board with a couple of tips on how to beat the boss. This is a brilliant idea, acts as a sort of scalable difficulty system for the game. If you’re kicking ass, you’ll never notice it, but if you need help it’s there.
The game also includes a full stage editor so you can custom-design your own levels. Like the photos, these levels can also be sent to your Wii-owning friends via WiiConnect 24. The single-player levels also feature various time trials, and a multiplayer mode challenges players to race around stages collecting stars.
Dewy’s Adventure has all the makings of a really fun game, with lots to do, a cute art style, and a combination of interesting game mechanics. Sadly, the game’s controls aren’t quite up to snuff, and they turn this adorable adventure into a nerve-wracking nightmare. Those willing to put the time in to grasp the game’s frustrating controls (Monkey Ball maniacs perhaps) will most likely squeeze a lot of fun out of the game. The rest of us, however, are better off steering clear.