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To-Fu Collection

Score: 75%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Developer: HotGen Studios
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

To-Fu Collection is a physics based game all about a sticky block of tofu bouncing off of walls.

This martial arts themed game takes place in a series of levels designed to look like rooms lined in all manner of surfaces and possible dangers to our meat-substitute friend. All around, the game's simple visual design works well and, while the graphics might not be as crisp and detailed as the version found on the iPhone, it still works well.

To-Fu Collection's background music has elements of Asian sounds, but with a more energetic feel to it than I would have expected from this game when I gave it a first glance. The rest of the sounds include a gong noise that plays at the start of the level and other sound effects that seem to appropriately cover the different moving pieces found in the levels.


Gameplay:

To-Fu Collection is a combination of two iOS games, To-Fu: The Trials of Chi and To-Fu 2, and while I can't speak for how well the iOS version of those games felt, I can say that using the stylus on To-Fu Collection reacts well and gives enough fine-control to make some interesting launches.

The idea is simple, you take your character, stretch him out and aim him where you want him to go. When you let up off the touchscreen, he goes flying off in the direction you pointed him. The walls are lined with everything from spikes to sawblades to bouncing pads to sheets of glass you slide down. Levels can also contain everything from rotating platforms to laser beams that will kill your character on contact.

Your goal in each level is simple, get to the giant pink fortune cookie. Along the way, you can pick up blue orbs called chi. Your secondary goal in each level is to get to the fortune cookie in the least number of moves with the most number of chi orbs. Each level has three trophies, one for beating the level, one for meeting the number of moves and one for collecting all the orbs.

While each level is relatively short, To-Fu Collection has 200 of them to let you try your hand at, and based on the fact that many levels won't let you get all three trophies in a single shot, usually because you can't get all of the orbs in the limited number of moves, those players who want to complete everything will want to replay most of the levels at least a couple of times.


Difficulty:

To-Fu Collection has a good mix of easy and difficult levels. While there is a general trend of the levels getting harder as you progress through the game, there are a lot of cases where easier levels sit right next to very challenging ones. As a result, there can be a bit of whiplash from one level to the next, but it is rarely an issue.

While there are many challenging levels that take quite a few attempts to get through, a lot of the challenge comes in trying to get all of the orbs or figuring out the right pattern to fling the tofu so that you can keep your move-count under par.


Game Mechanics:

To-Fu Collection has one basic mechanic, launch your tofu character across the room. The game adds other elements to keep things interesting and challenging. As mentioned above, these additions include different types of wall segments that the tofu reacts to differently, as well as items designed to stop the flying food dead and force you to restart the level. As a result, the developers have a lot of material to play with in order to give the gamer a wide variety of levels with drastically different feels. One level might require a lot of short jumps in order to navigate a spike-filled room, while another can be completed in one launch provided you release at the right angle and hit the level's sweet spots.

To-Fu Collection is a fun collection of levels that most gamers who like physics puzzles should enjoy. Provided you haven't been playing the game on your iOS device already, To-Fu Collection for the Nintendo DS seems to be a viable alternative to the app version of this game.


-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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