Wii

North America

Helix

by Nick DiMola - September 4, 2008, 3:31 am PDT
Total comments: 3

8

Dance Dance Revolution for your arms.

While WiiWare has become somewhat of a dumping ground for mediocre titles and even cell phone game ports, occasionally a unique, original title makes its way onto the service. Helix is such a title and can best be described as a rhythm game akin to Dance Dance Revolution where you dance with your arms instead of your feet.

The premise of Helix is quite simple: an on-screen robot performs a motion with one or both of his arms, and the player mimics it to the beat of the music. The motions range from something as simple as a punch to a back-and-forth waterfall gesture. Unlike many Wii games, two-handed control is achieved through use of two Wii Remotes. This is the preferred control scheme, and really the only worthwhile way to play the game. The option to use a single remote is available but really loses the charm found with the 2 Wii Remote control.

Motion recognition in Helix is very well done, and is accurate nearly all of the time. While wild arm-waving works on occasion, it is never reliable and will ultimately lead to failing the song.

Controls aside, the other centerpiece of any rhythm game its soundtrack and associated note tracks. Helix features an impressive twenty-six songs, all of the techno (or trance) variety and from a collection of independent artists. Admittedly I am not a fan of techno, but the featured tracks in Helix had me grooving to the beat and enjoying every minute of it.

Similar to most rhythm games, Helix features a range of difficulty settings along with unlockable songs that grow progressively more challenging. After playing at length, I felt that Medium offered the most even-handed challenge as well as the most rhythmic. Easy mode is a great stepping stone to Medium, and a necessary starting point with the title; Hard mode is mind-blowing and moves at a mile-a-minute. In this regard, the game is very similar to DDR and requires the player to memorize note progression to master each song.

Though the game has undeniable parallels with DDR, one aspect in which it differs is the presentation method of required actions. Because the on-screen robot performs the action first, there is a necessary delay until you are able to mimic the action. This creates a minor disconnect that proves difficult to keep up with at the highest difficulty setting.

Graphically, Helix is pretty sparse. A simple audio visualizer (similar to those found in programs like Windows Media Player) spins behind the robot while the note track timing scrolls across the top of the screen. Though minimal, it works and the visualizer flashes enough bright colors to properly accompany the pumping techno tracks.

Though similar to many other titles in the rhythm genre, Helix is a unique experience and feels more like real dancing than DDR ever has. The soundtrack is enjoyable and fun, and will keep you grooving until the end.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
6 10 9 9 8 8
Graphics
6

Helix's presentation is quite simple. There is a basic robot and an audio visualizer twirling in the background. It’s nothing special, but it works.

Sound
10

The featured tracks are catchy and interesting. Though obviously compressed so that the game would fit into WiiWare size restrictions, they still sound crisp and full.

Control
9

With two Wii Remotes the game controls almost flawlessly. Some moves can be fudged, but it won't consistently work. The single Wii Remote control takes too much away from the game and should not be considered a viable control option.

Gameplay
9

Helix is boatloads of fun, and provides a good workout to boot.

Lastability
8

With twenty-six tracks and three difficulty settings, there is a decent amount of meat to this package. The lack of a true two-player mode hurts Helix's replayability, but overall there is plenty to enjoy.

Final
8

Helix is a great rhythm game with a great soundtrack, and a unique premise that hasn't been done before. Any fans of rhythm games - or players looking to drop a pound or two - would be well-served in picking it up.

Summary

Pros
  • Good workout (for your arms)
  • Great Soundtrack
  • Unique and fun experience
Cons
  • Hard mode is excessively difficult
  • Need two Wii Remotes to really enjoy the game
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

Why can't you use a Remote and Nunchuk?  They both have accelerometers.

MaxiSeptember 04, 2008

You can use the wiimote and nunchuk,but the developers said since it has a cord connecting the two it doesn't have the range of motion brought with two wiimotes.
Great review Nick.

LuigiHannOctober 15, 2008

I bought this today (because I'm getting fat, and this seemed like a good solution) and I have to say, it's a fun game. I'll try to stick with it and see if it has any good long-term effects.

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Genre Rhythm
Developer Ghostfire Games
Players1
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Helix
Release Aug 25, 2008
PublisherGhostfire Games
RatingEveryone
eu: Helix
Release Sep 26, 2008
PublisherGhostfire Games
Rating3+

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