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DS

North America

Sprung

by Ty Shughart - December 27, 2004, 9:48 pm PST

8

Click this review if you're feeling sassy!

Whatever buzzword-riddled promotional gibber-jabber you heard about this game, throw it out the window. No video game is "hip" or "sexy." In fact, I'd wager only the most loathsome of nerds would buy a dating sim, as much as anybody marketing this would love to deny it. Additionally, seeing as its made by the French and Americans, it doesn't have many of the same charms that Japanese dating sims do (like broken English and graphic sex). So, it's a bit puzzling as to how they constructed such a bizarrely fun game.

And really, there's exactly one reason why Sprung is worth 30 dollars; the sheer comedy. A situation based on, say, creating a hook-up can quickly turn into something completely absurd and end with a five-page explanation on how you will die sad and alone due to being socially inept, or just a quick remark about becoming an old lady with twelve cats. The magnitude of the hilarity cannot be put into perspective in these phosphorous, glowing words, but, maybe, consider the three funniest games you've ever played (for me, probably Gabriel Knight, True Love, and, uh, Dave Mirra 2). Put them together, and it's still not as funny as Sprung.

Really, yeah, the gameplay is strictly limited to dialogue choices, usually 3 to 5 at a time. There are inventory items, too; using pepper spray suddenly and for no reason usually creates some prime comedy. The game is separated into missions with clear objectives (hook up so and so, give your friend advice, etc) - it's either pass or fail for each one. Some are clever puzzles. Remember the puzzle where you have to move things back and forth across a river in a certain sequence, lest they eat each other? There's something similar in one of Sprung's missions, but you might not even realize the puzzle until you're halfway into it, since it's all handled with dialogue. There's also a variation of Simon, and one of those puzzles with the three charts and X's and O's. Don't worry, it's not like you need paper or anything. It makes sense when you play it.

The two selectable characters, Brett and Becky, actually have two very different storylines. Brett seems to have the most "puzzle" missions and the most absurd misadventures, while Becky's storyline is far less fun. Becky's storyline seems a bit too serious, or has too much girl drama, or has too much feeling like a gullible harlot, or something. Seriously, go right to Brett's story for the serious Sprung business.

It's certainly simplistic play, but it does take advantage of the DS's dual screens. Your character and dialogue choices are on the bottom, and characters being spoken to appear on top. Each character is fluidly animated and has very clear reactions and expressions. Dialogue can be chosen with the touch-screen, but it's faster and more convenient to just use the control pad.

Only someone who hates comedy could dislike this game. Seriously. If you delight in the absurd and can take a good sassing from the sassiest game to ever sass a sassee, then buy it. Oh good lord, buy it, buy it now.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
8 6.5 7.5 8 7.5 8
Graphics
8

The animated characters remind me of an 80's network cartoon. In fact, when I see Brett and his friends, I can't help but think of Denver the Last Dinosaur. All my friends say it looks awesome, though, and that's good enough for the Internet!

Sound
6.5

It sounds like dating sim music, alright. That's to say, it's pretty strange, but endearing in its own awkward way. There are also about three sound effects in the game.

Control
7.5

You can touch the screen, but it's much faster, easier, and more comfortable to just use the control pad to pick your answers. That's all you do, really, is pick answers. If I could forego giving a number in this category and put in a picture of a dancing banana, I would. God help me, I would love nothing more.

Gameplay
8

Most of the entertainment actually comes from the sheer comedy, but there are some pretty cool puzzles. Brett's story is much more fun than Becky's.

Lastability
7.5

Sprung is strangely like a Japanese PC dating sim in this respect. There's a collection of artwork that's amassed as you find it, or you can go back and try other dialogue or choose a different girl at the end and see what happens.

Final
8

This is probably the funniest video game I've ever played, and as such, I love it. I never thought I'd like a game where you didn't throw axes at bats, but, damn, here we are.

Summary

Pros
  • 50 missions or so
  • Clever puzzles
  • Probably the funniest game ever made
Cons
  • Becky's story isn't that great
  • No broken English or graphic sex
  • Soundtrack doesn't rock that hard
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Sprung Box Art

Genre Simulation
Developer Ubisoft
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Sprung
Release Dec 07, 2004
PublisherUbisoft
RatingTeen

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