A new retro game to adore, consume and... basically take over your life.
If there is one thing that I adore, it’s playing arcade games of yesteryear. My love mostly finds itself in games made by Namco, though a round of City Connection is never bad. I went into Woah Dave with this in mind and wasn’t disappointed. Choice Provisions' first title is sharp, maddening and a ton of fun.
What Woah Dave gets right from the get go is its retro feel. With simple mechanics and a straightforward structure, jumping right into the action is easy. You control Dave in his colorful quest to pick up objects and slam them into one another. Little Dave is capable of jumping, moving left and right and picking up eggs, skulls and special blocks. The ultimate goal is to collect as much money as possible before you lose all of your lives. It is easy to enough to understand and works well in practice.
The strategy of the game focuses around destroying opponents to earn coins. To get these shiny medals, you will need to destroy alien eggs or the new born aliens themselves that bursts onto the scene. If these little critters end up in the lava, they grow in strength by a little and become a bit harder to beat. Awaiting your chance and throwing a skull at the right moment can make all the difference. Knowing when to cash in is also key, because the game doesn't take overconfidence lightly. There are a few sad instances where I ended up throwing a Woah Block, which turns all enemies into coins, into the lava.
At these moments, the game can become relentless and hectic. This is not always for the better, because your will to take control back can be easily broken. The environments constantly change, lava raises and lowers and many objects will drop close to one another. This can cause you to pick up the wrong items and lose a life shortly after the mistake. You will learn to deal with it, but this will really frustrate you in the first number of Woah Dave runs.
Woah Dave allows you to save local scores, which you can potentially share on Miiverse, but the game lacks any built in online leaderboards. A weird quirk with the local leaderboards is that you have to constantly re-enter your initials. As someone who keeps it on a personal Nintendo 3DS, it’s not like I’m going to change my name every time.
Woah Dave! is a beautifully retro-styled arcade classic. With a colorful look and addictive gameplay to boot, it is a great game to have on the go with you. While things can become a little too hectic at times, it does not stop you from trying to beat your own personal record. However, sharing scores is more difficult than it should be. In the end, the success of Woah Dave comes from your drive to beat your own score, something I’ll be doing long into the winter months ahead.