Wii

North America

Maboshi's Arcade

by Neal Ronaghan - January 6, 2009, 10:23 am PST
Total comments: 11

8

This Nintendo-published WiiWare game is one of the best single-button games I have ever played.

Published by Nintendo and developed by Japanese company Mindware, Maboshi's Arcade is a unique puzzle game with one goal: score a million points at the behest of the robotic Mr. Maboshi. When playing by your lonesome, Mr. Maboshi appears, requesting that you help him to get to a million points over time. However, this simple goal is much more complex than it sounds because there are three different games that can be played cooperatively with up to three players simultaneously. These three games, all named after geometric shapes, are chosen by each player and can be played in any combination.

In the circle game, you control a ball as it rolls within a circlular area, attempting to dodge obstacles and ram into enemies. The ball is always moving, and by pressing the A button you can alternate between right and left turns. It starts out simple, but as you progress through the many different stages, the obstacles get more obstructive. The obstacles can not harm you; they only impede your progress. They range from small circles attached to rope to floating platforms that can be knocked around. The game ends when one of the enemies escapes the circle.

The stick game, the most confusing of the lot, might initially remind you of the import-friendly GBA game, Kuru Kuru Kururin. You control a stick rotating around a ball by using its momentum to rise up past each stage's goal line. The stick pushes off in the direction that it swingsThe stick seems to randomly change speed and direction, which makes the game even more challenging. The A button triggers movement, but you'll only move at the whim of momentum. Along the way, there are tons of enemies and even the occasional boss that are defeated by a swat of your rotating stick. There are power-ups that give you the aid of a pinball, which can be knocked around to destroy enemies, or invincibility. The game ends whenever the ball at the end of the stick is struck by an enemy.

The third and final game, Square, does not use the A button like the other two games, but instead employs the use of the D-pad as you control a trail of fire. The game is turn-based: time progresses and the screen scrolls up with each move. The goal of the game is to explode all of the boxes in a stage. To explode a box, all you have to do is graze it with your line and it will eventually ignite. Adding fuel to the fire are bombs which can either aid or kill you depending on whether or not you get caught in the bomb's flame. Personally, this is my least favorite of the three games, mainly because of how slow-paced it is.

Adding another layer of strategy is how players affect their opponents' games. For example, if someone playing Circle knocks an enemy in the direction of someone playing Stick, it can knock out enemies in the stick game. Similarly, the stick player could go up against the wall of someone playing Square and ignite blocks for them. And since each player's game is separate, if one player dies, he can just restart while the other players continue. Although the game is nothing more than a high-score challenge, this style of cooperation extends the length of the game by opening up an intriguing multiplayer aspect. The multiplayer could only have been better if it had online play.

The combined effect of the three games is a mix of intuitiveness, extreme difficulty, and confusion. Since all three games more or less use one button, each is very easy to pick up and play. While they all are difficult to master, the three games are very fun and employ a lot of strategy akin to difficult one-hit kill shoot-em-ups. For example, Stick and Circle both require twitch reactions to avoid being struck by enemies or letting them escape.

In addition to the main game, Maboshi's Arcade allows players to use their Mii to record their high scores, and also offers a complete DS version of game via DS Download Play. The DS version is fully featured for one player, only with far simpler graphics. Sadly, DS scores cannot be transferred back to the Wii.

Maboshi's Arcade is another in the line of quirky Nintendo-published WiiWare games with simple controls and great gameplay. Even though the difficulty is high, the variety amongst the three games and its DS Download Play make this title great.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
6 6 9 7.5 8.5 8
Graphics
6

The graphics are simple, but when you have a game based around three shapes, you don't need anything more than that.

Sound
6

The music is merely a few tracks on an endless loop. They're all catchy, but they aren't that great.

Control
9

While simple controls have been botched in the past, the controls here work very well and make for a very simple yet complex game.

Gameplay
7.5

I have some issues with the erratic movement in the Stick game and all of Square, but the depth and challenge outweigh these small grievances.

Lastability
8.5

The multiplayer offers lot of fun and strategy to an already deep experience, with multitudes of stages for each game and a difficulty that will either make you throw a controller or come back for more. The portability of the downloadable DS version also gives the game even more legs.

Final
8

Maboshi's Arcade is an addictive original puzzle game with three separate gameplay modes that all interlock for a fun multiplayer experience. Even though I dislike Square, the other two games more than make up it.

Summary

Pros
  • DS Download Play
  • Interesting co-op
  • Intuitive controls
  • Three original games included
Cons
  • No online play
  • Very unforgiving
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

vuduJanuary 06, 2009

Quote from: nron10

The third and final game, Square, does not use the A button like the other two games, but instead employs the use of the D-pad as you control a trail of fire.

Do you hold the remote like a NES controller or upright with one hand (i.e. which way is "up")?

For Square, you hold the Remote like a remote.  It doesn't feel great, and I agree with Neal on that mode -- it's my least favorite.  Even though Stick is really difficult and frustrating, I find it to be the one I keep going back to.

Maboshi's Arcade is overpriced by at least a couple bucks, but it is undeniably interesting and strangely addictive.  The DS download feature is superb and should be used in more Wii games.  One feature Neal didn't mention, possibly because the game doesn't explain it well at all, is that you can play along with your own replays if you don't have any friends for multiplayer.  You can also send replays to other people on the Wii system friends list, and then they can play along with you remotely (in a sense).  I'll test out this feature with Neal soon, as I'm anxious to see how well it works and how far he has gotten in Stick.

KDR_11kJanuary 06, 2009

The stick doesn't change randomly. When you let it loose it loses momentum, after the movement it has to rev up again and that follows physics (gravity downwards) so if you release it in the right moment it regains rotational momentum quickly (and if it's the wrong moment it'll swing back and forth until it gets fast enough to spin again). It sometimes changes directions at the edge of the playing field, I think that happens when there's a ball game on that side and you hit the ball. I think learning to control the stick takes a LOT of time because I can barely handle it, I lose momentum way too often and rarely score better than bronze time.

The Wiimote is held vertically for the square game. I like the mode, you have to think a bit about how to lay down your blocks to burn stuff fast enough.

I'm not sure what online play would add here, the effect system isn't that interactive and I don't see much difference between another player (at least one online who doesn't communicate with you) handling the "machine" next to you or just a replay. I guess you could run a global highscore list but the score maxes out at 1 million (not sure what it tracks between sessions that have reached that goal, maybe time to finish?)

AVJanuary 06, 2009

i was hoping for a demo of this game via DS Download. Since the game itself does have it, and we do have a Nintendo channel it would be great use of that.

meh it's not like i have money to buy it anyway. I still haven't finished Orbient 100% and I beat World of Goo and I just started Okami.

KDR_11kJanuary 06, 2009

I don't think a demo via DS download would really work...

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusJanuary 06, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

For Square, you hold the Remote like a remote.  It doesn't feel great, and I agree with Neal on that mode -- it's my least favorite.  Even though Stick is really difficult and frustrating, I find it to be the one I keep going back to.

Maboshi's Arcade is overpriced by at least a couple bucks, but it is undeniably interesting and strangely addictive.  The DS download feature is superb and should be used in more Wii games.  One feature Neal didn't mention, possibly because the game doesn't explain it well at all, is that you can play along with your own replays if you don't have any friends for multiplayer.  You can also send replays to other people on the Wii system friends list, and then they can play along with you remotely (in a sense).  I'll test out this feature with Neal soon, as I'm anxious to see how well it works and how far he has gotten in Stick.

Johnny I think I sent you some replay data since you are on my friend list on Wii.

Flames, I appreciate that.  However, I had to replace my Wii a few months ago, so I have a new system code.  I'll PM it to you soon.

KDR_11kJanuary 07, 2009

Oh, so it uses system codes instead of game codes?

Yep, just like other Wii games with replay-sharing (Wii Music, Brawl, etc.)

this game is incredibly and addicting, I'm pretty sure i curse more at this game than any other...

KDR_11kJanuary 09, 2009

BTW, why is the game called a "puzzle game" in the review? Sure, the square mode is pretty puzzley but how the hell does flinging a ball or a stick into enemies count as a puzzle?

Share + Bookmark





Genre Puzzle
Players1 - 3

Worldwide Releases

na: Maboshi's Arcade
Release Dec 29, 2008
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone
jpn: Katachi no Game: Maru Bou Shikaku
Release Oct 07, 2008
PublisherNintendo
RatingAll Ages
eu: MaBoShi: The Three Shape Arcade
Release Aug 29, 2008
PublisherNintendo
Rating3+

Related Content

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement