SPRay Updated Hands-On
Tecmo is bringing this clever puzzle game to the Wii, and we've got an updated look.
One part adventure game, one part puzzle game, one part...liquid-spewing fantasy 3D platformer for kids? Those are the ingredients that make up Tecmo's upcoming Wii game, SPRay. We first saw the game back at E3 in July, and Tecmo reps recently stopped by GameSpot HQ to give us a lengthier demo of the game, which looks to challenge your brainpower as much as your reflexes.
You play as Ray in the game, a little guy who's got an angel and a devil on his shoulder. Well, OK, that's not entirely accurate. Instead of dispensing moral advice, the pair liberally dispense different types of liquid at your discretion. You've got the demon-looking guy, who is fond of spraying icky stuff like sticky green goo or...vomit; and you've got his more appealing counterpart, who only sprays water (and eventually ice). It's how you use those liquids to Ray's advantage that will determine how quickly you solve puzzles and progress through the world of SPRay.
Consider a ledge that's too high for Ray to jump onto. Have your handy little demonic spirit spray the wall beneath the ledge with sticky green goo, and then Ray can jump on the wall, stick there, and leapfrog up it until he reaches the ledge. Another interesting use for the green slime: During one puzzle involving cranes carrying boxes from one area of a map to the next, you simply slime the box and then leap against it, sticking yourself to it and letting the crane carry you from one point to the next.
The different liquids you can shoot will also have their uses in combat. One of the common enemies we saw during the demo of the game were evil-looking antimatter monsters. They looked like walking shadows and, worse yet, had a nasty penchant for tossing antimatter bombs our way. The best way to fend them off is by using the angelic spirit to fire water in their general direction. Hose them down enough and they'll disappear entirely, though beware: It takes a few seconds to defeat each antimatter monster, so if you're surrounded by multiple enemies, you'll want to keep clear. Ray also has physical attacks, which he can use to first knock off the armor of certain enemies before hosing them down to defeat them once and for all.
With no need to really worry about dying (the game gives you infinite lives), SPRay is really about solving puzzles in order to unlock new worlds and even more puzzles. These challenges run from the very simple--such as spraying levers to move certain objects from one place to the next--to more difficult puzzles. There are some physics at work in a lot of the puzzles; in one, we had to maneuver a ball onto a stand in order to open a door--moving the ball with a stream of water (or by kicking it) turned out to be a mini-challenge all by itself.
Our favorite challenge in the game involved an invisible bird who was roaming around a circular pit of flame. The only way to find him was to first spray the ground with the green goo then look for his footprints as he walked around, before spraying him down with water and solving the puzzle. It's that sort of light sense of humor that should keep SPRay fun for kids while challenging enough for adults. There's more work yet to be done on the game, including a redesign of the main character, but the game is on track for a late-October release.
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