Electronic Arts recently promised to develop original games rather than churn out more franchise sequels. Zubo, a lightweight RPG adventure with rhythm game elements aimed squarely at a younger audience, is evidence that EA are taking their pledge seriously. So, er, hurray? Well, sort of. Although the game itself holds little appeal to us old gits, it’s often very charming and funny. Its colorful game world looks great and the touch-screen-tapping rhythm-based combat works very nicely.
You play as some kid who gets sucked into the world of Zubalon, where the peace-loving Zubos are at war with a clone army called Zombos, who are under control of the nefarious Sleepy Head. You’ll now understand why this isn’t for us old gits. Anyway, there are 50 Zubos to befriend and you can lead any three around at any time.
The traditional RPG trappings come in the form of turn-based party combat, where you can opt to offer shielding or healing instead of attacking should you so wish. Each Zubo has a range of attacks which upgrade automatically as you gain XP. Attacks require you to tap the screen in time to a pulsing on-screen outline – our favorites are the ones involving toxic farts. When you’re not fighting Zombos, you’re wandering around linear pathways solving simple puzzles or locating a key to open a gate. Yawn. So hats off to EA for coming up with a well-realized original idea, but let’s have something for the oldies next time, please.
Nov 11, 2008