E3’s biggest suprise / Igor DS

igor

Legacy Interactive, best known for their television spin-off games like Law & Order and family friendly games like Vet Emergency and The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes, invited us over to check out some of their upcoming games during E3 and I have to say while most of them seemed like the standard casual fare that they do very well, I was pleasantly surprised to see a game that really intrigued the hardcore gamer inside me. More surprising than that was the fact that it was based on a movie license — a children’s movie license. Yup, Legacy’s Igor game for the DS looks like it could be one of those rare licensed games that might actually stand up on its own.

The rest of the games Legacy had on show (Pet Pals: Animal Doctor on the Wii, Zoo Vet: Endangered Species on the DS and the Wii version of Igor) all looked perfectly fine for what they are, but they aren’t directed at me and if you are reading this site they probably aren’t directed at you. They’re fun diversions and actually looked really great for kids but I seriously doubt I would ever put money down on one unless I was buying a gift for my 5-year-old cousin. Igor DS however I actually want to see more of.

The game doesn’t really follow the movie’s plot from I what I garner. Instead, the gamer plays as Igor as the annual “build a monster and win for the best monster built” contest is approaching. That isn’t the actual name but it sums up the plot really easily so I’m going to go with it. Then the player gets to work designing a monster: giving it body parts, making it look like they want, raising and lowering different attributes. At this point I thought the game was looking pretty clever for a fun DS movie game but I was still in the midst of brushing it off as just that. Then they opened up an overview map and went into a battle. Suddenly the bottom screen was occupied by a puzzle (looked like Bejeweled or something along those lines) and the top screen had the created monster in battle with another one. My mind ran back to the last time I had seen this in a little game called Puzzle Fighter and my heart leapt with glee.

However, unlike Puzzle Fighter the character the player is fighting with actually makes a difference. The design of the monster actually gives you different attributes while playing the game. As the player wins, they’ll move on and can change and upgrade the monster. Sounds like an amazing premise for a game to me, even if the monster I design has to look like a rejected Disney animation. There are some other fighting aspects thrown in too that I didn’t get to see, but everything seems to use the touch screen.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any hands on time with the game and my time to view it was pretty brief, so I couldn’t tell much about the actual quality. Graphically it looked fine for a DS game but the gameplay is totally up in the air. I don’t know if the puzzle gaming will completely suck or not or if the whole monster design thing will be totally shallow. What I do know is that Legacy seems to be actually doing something with an IP that is both original and creative, and that’s more than we saw from most developers.

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