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Dokuro Review

Let us be honest here. The Vita, while a powerful and promising handheld is having a rough start. While the price hasn’t been cut in half months into the release, the games are rather selective at this moment. Dokuro is a 2D SideScrolling Puzzle game with that special indie feeling. Developed by game Arts and published by GungHo Online Entertainment the game will catch your attention with unique art style and brilliant musical score.

The chalk drawn art style is what will catch your eye to Dokuro, in a sense; it reminds me of a darker version of an old cartoon called, ChalkZone. With a fairy themed story, Dokuro is a puzzle game that will offer a unique take on puzzle platforming. Dokuro is a skeleton hero who works for the Dark Lord, the Princess at the Dark Lord’s castle. Dokuro falls in love from the first moment he sees her. He deems the castle to be too dangerous for her and he vows to help her escape.

While it seems rather simple for a princess to be able to escape with the help of someone who knows the layout of a castle she is rather ditzy and ignores all logic and will continue to move forward unless there is a 100% impassible obstacle is in her way. Of course, the castle is filled with traps and enemies which make you wonder how these people go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. While the story is exactly what it looks like, save the princess the gameplay works well with the story and Dokuro will gain certain abilities like being able to transform into a prince charming-esque fellow to carry the princess and KO enemies. Dokuro will also be able to manipulate his surroundings with chalk.

The puzzle design is very well thought out in Dokuro. They are challenging but not so challenging to the point you want to throw the Vita out the window. The Princess can make things difficult for you when trying to solve puzzles as she will continue to move forward unless there is a gap in the way or a large object. The game is filled with box puzzles lifts, levers, buttons and even boss fights. You must use the chalk to connect some objects to cranks to move them and use the Prince transformation to get rid of enemies for good, not just knock them back.

The execution and presentation is simple, but the puzzles get more and more challenging as the game progresses. The touch screen controls are easy to use and work very well. The key word in this review is simple. You do not need complicated advanced mechanics to make a game fun. The game does not rely on touch screen controls as a main mechanic. While they are essential it is not a thrown in gimmick. This is a game designed for the Vita and it really shows. The game is incredibly fun and the soundtrack is wonderfully done.

If you like puzzle games, if you like sidescrollers, Dokuro is a game for you. It offers a challenge that games seem to lack this day and age. While the AI of the princess can get very irritating, Dokuro gets a 9/10.

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