Rated E for Everyone, 1-4 players, Wii Remote and Nunchuk required, $5.00
MonsTECA Corral, this week's new demo, is a strange game. You can say that about a lot of games, but with this game in particular, it was a little bit of a fun-barrier to me at first. You play the part of a monster herder that must rescue and move monsters away from evil robots. To do so, you must gather swamp gas and give it to the astromaggot (flying space worm) and then jump on its back so it can take you to the next level (of which there are 20). All the while, you must avoid or disable the evil robots that want to capture your herd of monsters.
MonsTECA Corral's controls are quick and easy to master, and while a bit lo-fi, the graphics are fun and the Wii handles the 3D worlds with aplomb. The demo lasts between 15-20 minutes and it reminds me a bit of Darwinia, actually. This is bad: while playing MonsTECA Corral, it felt too derivative and simple. There wasn't enough "new" here to really inspire me to purchase. Still, at only $5.00, if you like the demo, you really can't go wrong with buying the game (the DRM caveat must be noted, however).
Rated E for Everyone, 1-4 players, Wii Remote only, $6.00
Bit.Trip Beat is one of 5 games in the Bit.Trip series, all of which are regarded as some of the finest games on Wii Ware. This demo has been on Wii Ware since January and I played it before starting this blog. I was not impressed much. It was hard to control and too simple for my tastes. I downloaded it again last night because it was the only demo still on Wii Ware that I had not reviewed. I'm glad I did. It was still hard to control and simple, but I actually gave it some effort, and I was pleasantly surprised.
Bit.Trip Beat is deceptively simple and challenging. The first minutes give you the chance to get acquainted with the controls and gameplay which can be described as Pong meets musical side-scroller. I would have loved to have a Pong paddle to play this game, but I had to use the Wii Remote's motion controls instead. The music and graphics are delightfully retro and fun (I wish the kids had not been in bed so that I could have turned it up a bit), and after a few minutes, the game's simplicity has a new companion: frantic complexity. You've got to play it to understand how it is both complex and simple at the same time. And fun! More fun than I expected.
Bit.Trip Beat is a game that I will eventually buy (I'm not sure when), and at $6.00, it looks to be an OK deal. This is a demo that all gamers should download and spend at least 10 minutes with, however. I think you will feel like this is a special game. I don't know how much longer the demo will be on Wii Ware, so go get it! It is free, after all.
Well, that's it for this week. Have you played either of these games or demos? Let us know what you think in the comments!