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Sprung Review

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Developer: Ubisoft Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: December 7, 2004 Also On: None

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d dig back into the games I haven’t played in a long time and pull out Sprung, an early-era DS game based on romance and relationships. But, is it a game worth playing, or is it one that deserved to have become cheap fast as it did? Read on to find out.

Aesthetically, this game doesn’t present much. The graphics are based pretty much on stills with minor animations between them. The graphics look nice, and the girls are as cute as they can be in a cartoon environment, but the graphics certainly aren’t overly impressive, although the different emotional states in the different characters do all present well. On the sound front, there is no voice acting, and there are no sound effects. There is only music. The music is a bit subdued, but it isn’t bad. Still, there’s nothing about it that will particularly inspire you, so this may be a game that can be enjoyed just as much with the sound turned off.

In terms of gameplay, this game is very text-based. Essentially, the game revolves around a series of scenarios in which you will control either a girl named Becky or a guy named Brett depending on which of the two plots you’re playing through. It was a nice touch having a story for a girl and a story for a guy, and playing through both adds length to the game. But the game plays out fairly simply. When it’s your turn to speak, you either double-touch the option you want to say with your stylus or select one with the control pad and hit the A button. Both methods work well, so I can’t state a distinct preference.

The scenarios are fairly evenly split between scenarios of luck and scenarios of memorization, with there being an occasional scenario which requires both. In the scenarios of luck, you try to find the right things to say to achieve whatever the objective is for that scenario. Although repeated playthroughs of these scenarios can make them more memorization-oriented as you try to figure out what is working and where you’re going wrong, they are more a matter of luck and strategy and memorization

The scenarios of memorization require literal memorization. You’ll be shown sequences of things and be expected to be able to rattle them back in the correct order, or you’ll need to be able to remember what things you picked earlier in a scenario later on. Sometimes you’ll even have to pick up on subtle hints to know when a sequence of memorization is required. These sequences only serve to make the game at least somewhat a matter of skill instead of luck.

Adding to the mix is the fact that you will accumulate items as you go along, and you will sometimes have to use them at strategic times to get what you need to get for your objective. Sometimes the item you need to use is obvious, and sometimes it isn’t even obvious that you need to use an item. Overall, then, experimentation and patience are the keys in this game.

And yet, the game does tend to get a bit repetitive as it goes on, especially since you will fail a lot as you go through. After all you’re doing is selecting things to say and hoping you pick right. There is no real action to speak of, which can make the game a bit boring. Still, for some people, this game might be worth the relatively cheap price that you’re likely to find it at. That’s up to you to decide based on what I’ve said.

Graphics: 5
Sound: 4
Gameplay: 5
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 5.3
Written by Martin Review Guide