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Review

Save the Turtles (DSiWare) Review

by June 29, 2010

Save the Turtles is a quaint little DSiWare game, that’s for sure. This bright and cheerful game sees you doing the hard task of getting sea turtles to the sea. Seriously, the journey for the freshly-born sea turtle is a hard one and not many make it. The game itself touches on this and has a quasi-education element to it as well.

The main part of the game is the Save The World mode. I’ll overlook that saving turtles isn’t going to save world (that’s for the cheerleaders right?) but still that’s what it’s called. The aim of Save the Turtles is an obvious one and the method of doing so is both fun and easy too. A tutorial helps you get on your feet, the basic premise being that you must line up 3 (or more) turtles of various colors in a line in order to get them washed into the ocean and to safety. Turtles first must be scratched out of the sand and then tapped out of their shells to coax them along. Once free, the turtles can then move about in order to line up.

It all sounds rather easy, doesn’t it? Well it is to begin with, but soon things get frantic with rocks, sink holes, crabs and bad plants littering the play field and stopping your poor little turtles from ever getting to the ocean. In later levels, the sun comes into effect too, and can burn your turtles or they could even be swept up by a seagull and eventually even oil spills (how fitting, thanks BP). There are means to combat these though, through proactive and reactive methods. Different coloured turtles give you different points and different colours or batches of turtles greater than 3 also can get you a greater score. Each new turtle colour that gets revealed is introduced as a different turtle type, and the main turtle in the game explains a little about it.

Other game modes are soon unlocked with a random wave mode providing a different experience to the game. No longer will the wave wash over when you connect 3 together, instead it will do it at random times. You’ll have to try different strategies for this mode. For marathon enthusiasts, there is also an endless mode which does as advertised.

So the game plays well, and it’s a lot of fun, but how does it look and sound? We’re happy to report Save The Turtles is one of the most polished games on the DSiWare service. The bright and cheerful graphics are easy to see and understand and the play field doesn’t feel overly crowded despite the hectic action going on. The ocean is a little hard to get at, as it’s hidden over on the right side of the screen. You’ll need to hit the ocean to alleviate the turtles’ sunburn and to keep the turtles covered in water. I also had a problem a couple of times where the lines I drew to move the turtles wouldn’t work. It was like if you took the stylus even a little off the middle of the “path”, it wouldn’t work. It didn’t happen all the time and could even just be a Nintendo DSi XL thing.

Music and character “voices” are cute and cheerful and suit the game well. The squeaky noises that the turtles make are bearable and some people would even describe them as cute.

The best part of Save the Turtle is that it’s only 500 Points, and compared to many a game on the DSi store, it’s great value. Lots of retail games have less content and levels to play through than this one. There are a lot of puzzle games on the DSiWare service, and this is one of the best.

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Daniel Vuckovic

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