Space Ark Review (XBLA)

Posted by Christophor Rick (TheSuperGuido), Jun 17, 2010 09:35

Space Ark is a sort of bubble-pop, candy-coated game where all the characters are cute and cuddly animals and all the environments are bright and cheery. It’s not a bad thing, it just means you might need a strong sweet tooth to handle it.

You take on the role of the Arkonauts who have set out to terraform planets that have been devastated by a roving black hole. To regenerate the life that inhabited them you have to collect DNA blocks with your character via a bounce pad. So essentially you’re playing on a 2D field with a slight curve in it due to the planet’s curvature.

By stringing together DNA blocks you make combos, combos give you better scores, etc. Combos make fruit bonuses, fruit bonuses increase your points multiplier, therefore you have higher scores per level.

Each world is broken into a series of levels for each Arkonaut. To move to the next fragment of the planet you have to successfully pass all of the levels for the current character.

Now don’t let the cutesy art-style of the game fool you. There’s some serious challenge in this title. Moving the bounce pad in one direction to collect falling fruit while trying to maneuver your character in the air with the other stick gets to be hectic from time to time.

Plus there’s the added challenge of having a perfect level, collecting all DNA blocks, all fruits and specials and not dying (I think) which gives you a big points boost as well.

There are five planets and 28 fragments in all, with each fragment having six levels except for the tutorial. It’s a lot of game to be had in this XBLA exclusive from Strawdog Studios. It will also feature multiplayer which looks to be local Co-op or head-to-head split screen. It also features three modes - Mission, Time Attack and Survival.

The graphics are very bubble-pop candy-coated. That doesn’t make them bad,but they do look like it’s aimed more at children. The sound follows in just about the same vein though it doesn’t really get annoying at all. The music, which could have been really over the top is instead a sort of funky, electro pop and doesn’t make bad background sound while playing. But after a while you want something more interesting than what is offered. It’s times like this I wish that games on the X360 could incorporate playing your own music right into them.

Multiplayer is only split-screen head-to-head, or perhaps it’s co-op. They don’t really tell you in the game information thought it does say co-op in the description. It’s sort of a failure on their part as there’s very limited multiplayer and it’s local split screen only, no XBLA or Party support.

Overall the game is quite challenging with a lot of things to juggle, including your Arkanaut. It’s a good sort of casual puzzle action game

Game Rating: E (Everyone)
Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB

    * Players: 1-2
    * Players Co-op: 1-2
    * Multiplayer Versus
    * In-game Dolby Digital
    * HDTV 720p
    * Storage Device
    * Leaderboards

For more video game reviews on this and many others head to Game Rankings

Our Rating for Space Ark Review (XBLA)
7.0 Replay
It’s got potential to bring some of you back again and again for various reasons.
8.0 Graphics
The game looks good in its sort of candy-coated way. Certainly fits the whole atmosphere for the title.
8.0 Sound
It’s not all that exciting but it doesn’t grate on the nerves so that’s a bonus
8.5 Gameplay
It’s challenging to get the hang of it all and makes good use of the controls available. However, it’s sort of repetitive as you do the same or of thing over and over.
6.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
Just local split screen, could certainly use some other modes and online play.
7.5 Overall
It’s a solid puzzle action title that, while repetitive, offers an interesting twist on the genre. Certainly will appeal to some of you.

Rating: 5.0, votes: 5

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