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E3 2007: Game Factory

Posted by: Chuck at 7/11/2007 9:54 AM
If you’re a hardcore gamer or someone who doesn’t like licensed gamers go ahead and move on to the next article on GN because Game Factory probably doesn’t have anything you’re going to be interested in. If you are looking for new creative games based on licensed IP’s then you might actually want to check out some of their upcoming products.

Game Factory’s US offices are located in the nice market place part of Santa Monica and while Game Factory isn’t officially a part of E3 we always like the chance to talk to new developers about their games and the whole sleep thing is overrated.

The first game we got to look at was the Wii version of Code Lyoko. The DS version of the game is already out and is getting solid but not spectacular reviews. The Wii version is not a port of the DS game but rather it covers elements that occurred in the fourth season of the show whereas the DS version covered elements from the first two seasons.

The game is your standard platform adventure game where you can switch between four different characters with different abilities.   The waggle controls look pretty good and each character has fairly distinct characteristics. What really impressed me where the cell shaded boss battles and how different elements of the game are handled. When you are in the “real world” part of the game the game is a simple 2D side scroller but when you enter the virtual world of the game it becomes a full 3D environment. It will be interesting to see how the Wii version does when it is released in October of this year.

Next up we looked at Pet Alien for the DS, another game based on a television show. The game is a puzzle/platform game in the Lost Vikings mold. You control one of five different aliens as they try to escape from an intergalactic zoo.    You solve the various puzzles by using the different abilities of the characters. The game will ship with 80 levels to play through and while each level isn’t overly long there is still a good bit of variety to the action. The game will also ship with five unlockable mini-games that have everything from a version of Simon involving bodily noises to a smart game where you have to collect diamonds and avoid bombs at the same time (it’s actually a bit of fun).

Next up was Garfield’s Nightmare a side scrolling platform game for the DS. While the gameplay is standard stuff what was really impressive was the graphics for the game. Sure it’s Garfield but the game has some pretty good looking backgrounds and very fluid animation. 

The last game I saw was Build A Bear for the DS. If you’ve been to any mall in America you’ve seen the store that allow you to construct your own teddy bear from scratch and that’s exactly what this game allows you to do. You start off by picking the skin of the bear and then add stuffing, a heart, a secret message, as well as a few other items to the bear before you can place the bear in its condo.   After that, the game turns into a Nintendogs like experience as you have to care for your new stuff animal. I know I’ll catch a lot of crap for this but the game was a lot of fun and I think a lot of people are going to dig what you can do in the game as there are a lot of cool little mini games including a fun cooking game where you have to make food for your virtual pets. You can also take and exchange pictures of your pet through the DS WiFi capability. If you know someone who went gaga over Nintendogs this might be a good gift for them when the game during the holiday season.