To-Fu Collection Review (DS)
If there’s one thing I really hate on this Earth it would be tofu. I ate it once because a girl made it for me during a dinner. It was just about one of the grossest things I’ve ever eaten. Needless to say a game starring a blob of tofu wasn’t something that was going to excite me very much. I do, however, like things like Super Meat Boy, 10 Second Run and VVVVVV; all precision platformers that really test your skills. For me the only thing keeping this game from being right up there with those games is the lack of any movement from the main character.
What You Need to Know
To-fu Collection is a bundle of two iOS games, To-Fu: The Trials of Chi and To-Fu 2. The games star a slightly anthropomorphic blob of To-Fu who must master more than 200 levels of puzzling fun. You’ll be dodging giant buzz saws, avoiding spikes, flipping around on spinning platforms and sliding down walls made of glass. To-Fu can’t move, but he is super stretchy. You’ll use the stylus to pull him in the direction you want him to go and release when you’re ready to fling him in said direction. Each of the games features around 100 levels with a number of bonus challenges and dozens of achievements to earn.
These games were originally developed for the iOS and as such feature really solid touch screen controls. You simply touch To-Fu and pull him in the direction you want him to go and then release to send him in that direction. He’ll continue to fly until he runs into something, whether it’s a safe platform, spikes or any other type of trap that has been set for him. You can pull all the way to where you’re aiming so that you can get pinpoint precision in your movements. This is key on some levels where you have very small areas to work with.
I never had a problem with him flying off when I didn’t want him to and if I missed a “jump” it was because I didn’t line it up properly. He always went where he was aimed 100% of the time. If you’re not sure about a move then just move the stylus back to his body and let go. He’ll spring about for a second and return to normal so that you can try again.
Lots of Challenges
Each of the two games in the collection starts off pretty easily. The first sets of challenges are really done well to give you a chance to get a feel for the controls, learn some of the different surfaces that you can move onto and teaching you how the traps work. The difficulty builds slowly and introduces new traps and surfaces at a nice pace. Before long you’ll be flinging To-Fu off of a metal surface, rebounding onto a moving platform that is precariously placed on spikes and then flinging him into a glass wall where he’s sliding down while you line up a move in between two spinning saw blades. Some of the more difficult sections remind me of the challenge in games like Super Meat Boy, with the only difference being that To-Fu doesn’t move while you’re playing. That doesn’t detract from the challenge in any way as some of these levels will have you pulling your hair out before you finally solve them. Add on top of that goals for finishing the levels in a certain number of moves or collecting all of the blue chi orbs that are placed throughout the levels and the difficulty gets stepped up just a bit more for those more adventurous players.
There’s definitely a drop in visual quality as things end up looking overly pixelated. Sawblades look more like dinner plates and spikes more closely resemble serrated shark teeth. Having the game released on 3DS might have solved some of this problem and could have let the developer create some nice 3D environments to play around in. It’s not terrible to look at, just not nearly as crisp as the original game was on iOS.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I booted up the game. I was pleasantly surprised by what I played though, and ended up really enjoying the game. The only thing that could possibly have helped was if this was a downloadable game that’s just always on the system. Considering the game was originally released on iOS, I’m surprised it didn’t come to the eShop. The controls are precise and accurate, the levels are challenging without being unfair and the main character is a surprising likable, little blob of food I absolutely despise.