plays like a simple two-dimensional platformer at first. You run, jump, double jump, and press a context-sensitive button to work levers and cranks. But Dokuro
is not about getting yourself to the end of each level -- it's about getting the princess there. This task is not always as easy as it seems. But it isn't always brutal and unforgiving either.
So the princess cannot see you. How the heck are you supposed to help her? Well, there's a number of ways to do so. First, you have full control over certain environmental points of interest. If there's an elevator above the princess, it's too much to ask her to jump -- you must find a way to bring it down to her level. The princess is dumb as a post, but she will never willingly walk into a pit of spikes or march defiantly towards something that is clearly out to kill her. So exploration is often quite possible, as well as a recommended strategy. Charging headlong into the unknown with the princess is a recipe for failure.
Dokuro isn't just about running, jumping, and interacting. Sometimes you will have to establish your presence or protect the princess. Early in the game, the skeleton is given a special potion that turns him into a dashing prince, complete with sword. The effect is temporary, but it regenerates when you are not using it. You can also pick the princess up when in this form. The only downside is in the decreased mobility. The magic doesn't end there, either. You earn chalk powers as the game progresses. You can draw certain things into the environment with white chalk to solve puzzles, use a red chalk line to act as a conduit for fire, and blue chalk for... can you see where I'm going with this?
Charm holds most of the appeal in this puzzle platformer, but the gameplay just can't live up to the rest of it. Dokuro is entertaining, lengthy, charming, and frustrating -- and not necessarily in that order.