Platforms: PlayStation Portable
Players: One player only
Summary: Possibly the cutest game of all time.
LocoRoco is a Japanese video game for the PSP. It's a two dimensional,
side scrolling platformer, but that's pretty much where any similarities
between LocoRoco and any other video game end.
The first thing you notice about LocoRoco is that it's cute. The
LocoRoco themselves look a bit like furry little space hoppers, and
the soundtrack they sing along to sounds like sixties bubblegum pop
music. Even the baddies look adorable, the main ones (called Moja)
resembling Puli dogs more than anything else.
Other than the standard platformer goal of moving right until you
reach the exit, the main point of the game is to collect fruit, nuts,
berries and insects to eat, and to run around (well, roll around)
waking up your friends. It has an innocent, child-like quality to
it that's comparable to Yotsuba&! and, video game wise, Uo Poko.
It's perfect for playing in bed to ensure happy dreams, so it's a
good thing it was released on a portable format.
The controls are very different from most platformers. If anything,
they slightly resemble the obscure Japanese arcade game The Irritating
Maze. Rather than directly moving the LocoRoco, you instead have
to tilt the background, causing her to roll down the floor. You can
also make her jump, and you can make her split up into lots of tiny
little LocoRocos, then join up back together again into one big one.
With the simplistic graphical style, happy singing, and abundance
of cuteness, this probably makes an ideal children's game, but don't
dismiss it for adults. Although it's child's play to get to the end
of each level, there are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore in
search of berries and friends. Even adults seeking a perfect score
will no doubt find it frustrating to gobble up an elusive berry in
a hidden area, only to have the extra LocoRoco it gives them pinched
afterwards by a Moja.
I'm convinced that if there were less first person shooters and more
video games like this - cute, nonviolent, and most of all fun - then
video games in general would have a better reputation amongst people
outside of the male teen demographic. LocoRoco is a shining example
of charming entertainment suitable for everyone. Recommended.