“ Manufacturer: Eidos / Genre: Sports / Release Date: 2008 „
The Woodley' Summer Sports is published by dtp young entertainment GmbH & Co. KG and was released in July 2008. The box states that it is suitable for ages 3+, which in my previous experience suggests it will be suitable for an older audience but this game certainly is not. It is an educational game for young children using the DS' touch screen and stylus to its full potential to improve hand eye co-ordination. The faster and more accurate you can be with the stylus, the better your 'Woodley' will perform at the games. First off you have to create your Woodley. You select the gender, design the Woodley's t-shirt (by drawing on an easel) and choose the hairstyle. Once you've done this you're ready to play the games. Next there are 5 options to choose from including: 1) Multi-event In this mode you can choose from Athletics events, Technique events or Co-ordination events. You then complete the events relevant to each discipline. 2) Training As its name suggests, this option allows you to choose the game you want to allow you to practice and improve before the tournament commences. 3) Tournament This is it. The day we have been waiting for - the full game. You complete all eight games in sequence, hopefully setting new world records as you go. 4) Trophies This is the trophies section showing what you have won for each different event. 5) Showers The showers enable you to change your Woodley. You can re-design its shirt, change its hair style or change the its gender. Great stuff! 6) The events Other games in this genre, such as International Track and Field and Mario and Sonic at the Olympics have several different events that are unlocked as you progress through the game. Sadly, The Woodleys Summer Games has 8 events in total which include: ****Event 1**** Your Woodley is shown on the top screen standing on two turtles. On the bottom screen a turtle swims past with a symbol on its back. You have to reproduce the symbol as quickly and accurately as possible. Your Woodley will then perform a gymnastic act, such as a hand stand and will be marked accordingly. Should you mess up then you will character loses balance and scores no points. You get three chances to impress the judges. ****Event 2**** On the top screen your Woodley will be running down a track with obstacles in its way. It is your task to make your Woodley slide around the obstacle, jump over the obstacle or slide underneath the obstacle by drawing the relevant symbol with the stylus on the bottom screen before the obstacle is reached. Draw the wrong symbol or draw the symbol too slowly and your Woodley will come to a halt and have to start again, incurring more time on the clock. You have no control over the speed of your Woodley in this race so once you've mastered all the symbols and get them drawn correctly there is only so fast the course can be comleted. ****Event 3**** On the top screen your Woodley is standing on a plant holding a daisy flower above its head. It jumps off and floats to the ground. It is your task to make the Woodley travel as far as possible. Blowing in the mic will increase the height but blow too hard and the daisy's leaves will fall off. Once all the leaves are gone your Woodley will crash to the ground. You have three attempts. ****Event 4**** On the top screen your Woodley is in an archery event. The targets are painted on to stone hippos and it is your task to hit the target. Sounds easy right? This is actually quite hard since the target will start close in and go to a ridiculous distance away. Again, the touch screen is used to its full potential in this game. On the bottom screen you set the angle of the bow, slide back the arrow and then release it to hit the target. Too high, too hard and the arrow sails over the target. Too soft and the arrow gets nowhere near the target. This is a game of luck and trail and error as opposed to skill. You have ten arrows to play with. ****Event 5**** On the top screen your Woodley has to strike some balloons above its head in a specific sequence. It is your task to input that sequence using the stylus on the touch screen. The sequence is shown by flower buds opening. You have to touch the flower buds in the sequence they opened. ****Event 6**** On the top screen your Woodley is standing on a plant waiting to dive. It is your task to ensure that the Woodley performs a satisfactory dive to be marked by the judges. On the bottom screen there is a large lily leaf. For each dive three symbols will appear on the lily leaf, one after the other. You have to replicate the symbols as quickly and accurately as possible using the stylus to make your Woodley dive. You have three dives to achieve the best score. ****Event 7**** On the top screen your Woodley is taking part in a discus event. On the bottom screen you have to draw circles using the stylus on a tree stump until a red button glows in the middle. As soon as the button glows red touch it and your Woodley releases the discus. Touch the button too early (before it glows red) and the discus will be released too soon with not enough angle. Leave it too late and your discuss will be thrown straight up. You have three attempts to achieve the longest throw. ****Event 8**** On the top screen your Woodley will be participating in a sprint. On the bottom screen there are two feet that need to be tapped simultaneously to make your Woodley run. The faster you tap the feet the faster your Woodley will run. This actually takes a bit of co-ordination since double tap on one foot and your Woodley will slow down. So that's it. A really short game consisting of 8 events which, other than the archery, are really easy to learn and complete. Graphics The graphics are excellent. They're fun with bright vivid colours. The characters are the standard play mobile looking sort that seems to be popular in a lot of DS games. Audio The sound effects are really, really poor and do let this game down. I have yet to find a DS game with good sound and it is a common criticism of mine comes up in every DS game I review. Perhaps I should not bother commenting on sound in the future? (I look forward to your comments on this). Age Group I let my fellow tester, my five year old nephew, play this game for a while and he seemed to love it. A lot of games are a little too difficult for him or he needs a hand with certain aspects but this game is ideal as I am sure it will improve his hand eye co-ordination. Verdict This game uses the touch screen to its full potential. The directional pad is not used in any event in the game. This is what DS gaming is all about. This game is very, very easy and is aimed at younger game players. I selected it because it looked fun and I thought it would be an alternative to International Track and Field, but it is nowhere near close. The games are far too easy and the fact that there are only eight of them is a bit disappointing. Whilst it may kill a few hours on a wet weekend I think that older children will get bored of this game very quickly. Another thing I have noticed about this game is that you are not competing against any other characters other than yourself. I find this a bit strange.