GamingReview: 6180 The Moon

Review: 6180 The Moon

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Turtle Cream’s well received title 6180 The Moon finally made its way to the Wii U with a new console specific feature. Will this be enough to warrant playing through this space adventure?

One day the Sun goes missing and the Moon decides to go looking for it. This kicks off a fairly simple story where the Moon meets other planets as it continues its search for the supersized star in the solar system. Each of the planets encountered by the Moon has a different personality and at least that makes the dialogue somewhat interesting. Just don’t expect an intergalactic adventure of epic proportions filled with dramatic story twists. Most of the story development happens through dialogue text – usually when starting and getting to the end of each area.

6180 The Moon makes use of the well known side scrolling platform genre with a twist. The character is given the basic ability of jumping from the start. The whole purpose of each level is to touch a round object at the end. Getting in the way are pointy spikes and other deadly shapes that the character must avoid at all costs.

Now one of the more unique features in this version of the title is how it uses the Wii U’s GamePad controller. In other versions, jumping high enough or falling would mean appearing in the other end of the screen. The GamePad is used to extend this experience and show the character either on the TV screen or the GamePad screen, after jumping or falling off the other screen. In theory this is a clever idea that should make for a more unique experience and bigger levels.

6180 The Moon

However, this is certainly not the case when attempting to play through the levels. It soon becomes apparent how difficult it is to keep up with the character’s current location when constantly switching between screens. There is an attempt to solve this by adding a line on the screen the character isn’t currently in that shows the position of the Moon, but it only really helps when it isn’t moving too fast.

The character has a habit of falling faster after doing 2 trips through both screens whilst falling down. This use of the two screens unfortunately only gets worse as it becomes ridiculously difficult to follow the Moon. This is because of more advanced levels, such as ones in the Mercury area where the screen platforms automatically move upwards as the Moon moves forward. It can get disorientating to try and keep up with the Moon’s movements. There is no doubt that it would have been a fantastic idea if it had been implemented properly.

It essentially demonstrates that such an idea doesn’t work as easily as it would on a Nintendo DS/Nintendo 3DS system where both screens are similarly sized and placed next to each other. This effectively makes it not very enjoyable to play most of the advanced levels, where completing them comes down to making use of a frustrating trial and error method. This is a shame as there is a decent amount of levels and the use of two screens isn’t so bad at the beginning. At least the game introduces checkpoints and that does lessen the blow when dying due to not being able to keep up with the Moon quickly moving between screens.

Each new area attempts to introduce a new gameplay idea. For example, the Earth area makes use of bounce pads that are destroyed after a single use. This does make it more appealing to try and get to later areas in order to find out what other surprises lie ahead.

6180 The Moon

Now for some reason the game isn’t overly fond of giving much information in terms of instructions. This makes it rather frustrating at times. It’s easy to initially not even realise both screens are used if only starting the game only using the GamePad.

The visuals are very basic and it’s clear that the developer is aiming for a minimalist approach. The use of the monochrome palette is a clever idea given the them of space. Although it does make for a somewhat repetitive experience after seeing similar looking environments in later levels. Keeping the whole concept together is a pleasant soundtrack that plays along as the Moon continues on its quest to find the Sun.

It’s a shame that in trying to make better use of the GamePad’s screen, the developer made what could have been a memorable experience, into one that isn’t particularly enjoyable. Not giving the choice of switching to the gameplay screen mechanics found in other versions of the title just makes it worse. It highlights the reality that making effective use of 2 different sized screens isn’t an easy task and one that Nintendo itself must have struggled with since the launch of the Nintendo Wii U.

SUMMARY

+ New gameplay ideas being added regularly makes it more appealing to keep playing
- Dfficult to make use of GamePad and TV screens to keep track of character's current location
- Frustrating to complete advanced levels

(Reviewed on Nintendo Wii U, also available on Xbox One and PC Steam)

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Review: 6180 The Moon+ New gameplay ideas being added regularly makes it more appealing to keep playing <br /> - Dfficult to make use of GamePad and TV screens to keep track of character's current location <br /> - Frustrating to complete advanced levels <br /> <br /> (Reviewed on Nintendo Wii U, also available on Xbox One and PC Steam)