4cr Plays – Armillo

by Antonio Garcia

Fuzzy Wuzzy Games has finally released their character action game, Armillo, on the Wii U eShop. One part platformer, one part puzzler, and one part shooter, Armillo has gone through a couple of delays to polish up the content. Has the wait been worth it?

The game tells the tale of the titular Armillo, a critter that is tasked with fighting an invasion from the Darkbots. A group of robots that grew too greedy and used up their energy supply (sound familiar?), the Darkbots are out to enslave the whole galaxy to replenish their resources. When Armillo’s brother and his friends are kidnapped by the Darkbots, there is no other option but to jump right into the action.

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Armillo is a 3D platformer with simple controls. You can move in any direction with the left analog stick, and there’s one button to dash and one button to jump. That’s it – simple and to the point to not complicate things. The camera moves on its own (and was never a problem for me), but if you want to have more control, you can use the L and R triggers to rotate it.

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Each stage takes place on a spherical plane, giving the game a visual style reminiscent of Super Mario Galaxy. The game adds different rules to the mix in order to keep things moving; for instance, requiring that you free some number of Armillo’s friends before being unlocking a door, or asking that you collect a colored key to carry on. Every level also dumps you into an alternate dimension that is poisonous to Armillo, and as soon as you enter, a countdown ticks forward to let you know how much time is left before you die.

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After completing a level, Armillo is shot to that stage’s moon for a bonus round where you try to collect orbs (the in-game currency) in a timed event. The more creatures that you rescued in the level, the more time you’ll have for the bonus round, providing a nice incentive to explore the stages.

To me, the game feels like a mix of Super Mario Galaxy, with its spherical levels, and Sonic the Hedgehog, with Armillo curling into a ball and blazing through each level toward the finish line. I loved the variety of content in the game – some stages feature straight-forward platforming, while others dip into the puzzle and twin stick shooter genres. As you explore every inch of the game, you’ll even unlock secret 2D levels. These hidden stages are hectic “races against the clock,” a nice change of pace from the game’s regular content (much, in the same way, as the bonus rounds).

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The orbs that you collect throughout the stages can be spent as an in-game store to purchase extra health, longer time limits for the parallel universe, and new skills – including the ability to attracts nearby orbs when you dash. There are a few purchases that are a must if you want to 100% the game, such as the ability to destroy blocks that gate off large chunks of certain levels. I enjoyed exploring the new skills and going back to 100% previous levels.

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Armillo has a few technical issues. I noticed a bit of slowdown and pop-in at odd times, even when not much was going on. Most areas have no slowdown, even with a screen full of enemies and orbs. These issues only occured once or twice, but it did make me do a double take to make sure something wasn’t wrong with my Wii U.

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Armillo is a solid 3D platformer with interesting puzzle elements thrown in for good measure. A slow and steady increase in difficulty ensures that every new element introduced is done so in a way that feels good. At the same time, by the end of the game, you’ll be using every skill and item in your arsenal to defeat the Darkbots. The game features a lot of content, especially for the completionists that will want to backtrack to find everything in the game. The wait has been worth it, and Armillo is a great addition to the Wii U eShop.

Want to win a copy of Armillo? Then all you need to do is follow us on Twitter @4colorrebellion and follow this link to enter directly with Fuzzy Wuzzy. Then just leave a comment below letting us know under which name you entered and what region you’re entering for (US or EU). We’ll contact the random winners to confirm their information so that Fuzzy Wuzzy can send them their codes!

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