Review: Diggs Nightcrawler (PS3)
Title: Wonderbook: Diggs Nightcrawler
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PlayStation Network Download (6.4 GB)
Release Date: May 29, 2013
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developer: Moonbot Studios
Price: €14.99 (EU), £10.99 (UK)
Diggs Nightcrawler is exclusive to PlayStation 3.
The Blu-ray Disc version was used for this review.
** Note this game REQUIRES The Wonderbook and at least one Move controller to play. The DualShock is not supported. **
Diggs’s pal Humpty takes a tumble and it proves to be the sleuth’s toughest job yet. That’s where you come in. Because it’s not just Humpty who’s gone to pieces – entire pages of the city’s well-loved stories are going walkabout, and it’s too much for one bookworm to handle. So you and Diggs have to solve puzzles and find the clues. Can you figure out who pushed Humpty off the wall?
Sony have only released this in the UK and EU, with no confirmed US date other than Holiday 2013.
You control the game by simple uses of the Wonderbook. Rotating or tilting it to see a different view of the scene, lifting one side to alter something in the scene or even shaking it can prove useful. Moonbot kept things simple and easy for almost anyone to play this game. There was only one occasion when it didn’t recognise my actions and I had to reload the save game, but with this technology it’s to be expected.
You’re not in control of any character but the world they are in, it truly is the nearest thing to an interactive story you’ll find on any device. Diggs is trying to solve this latest crime and he is always asking for help. Which is where you feel a part of the story and not just a bystander to it.
I completed this game in two short sessions but returned to have a go at the Point-’n’-Sleuth part of the game. After you complete each chapter, you’ll unlock this mode which has you completing assignments by taking pictures with your Move controller whilst the game plays. It sounds strange I know, but works amazingly well and should be implemented into other games whenever possible.
Still, I bet you focused on the ‘two short sessions’ part didn’t you? Well admittedly so did I. The game’s duration seems to be the perfect length for a youngsters attention.
Each scene looks brilliant, the amount of detail is spectacular. I love looking around each area, even to the point of Diggs moaning at me to turn the page and move on. I just get carried away with how good it looks. The characters in this game are excellent, they all move and act fluidly within the scenes and some do quite funny things if you’re paying attention.
All of the scenes pop-up when you turn the page and it all works very well. I was impressed at how good the areas looked with details like rain bouncing off the bonnet of the police car on one page or the fog in a graveyard on another. It all makes the game feel more alive and complete than I expected for what is essentially a kids game.
I loved the voice acting and audio effects in this game, it all sounded just right, like a classic detective story. A very charming and atmospheric score adds to the overall experience. With Saxophone and piano melodies littering this game it almost makes me feel like I’m in an old Blues Club.
This game is single player only.
A brilliant game, which I enjoyed playing just as much as my girls did. It’s not the longest story, but it’s an extremely fun page turner in more ways than one. Only Moonbot Studios could weave such a wonderful whimsical tale based on nursery rhymes and a gumshoe bookworm. It’s a shame that this game won’t be played as much as it should be due to the need for the Wonderbook and Move peripherals.
I hope this intellectual property lives on with another game or two, so a wider audience could experience its charm. With maybe a bigger story next time?
Actual images only appear on your TV screen and not from the Wonderbook itself.
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