Hands On with Armillo: A Game Dressed to Impress

Wii U and indie games are starting to become synonymous with each other, like peanut butter and jelly. What started as a trickle has turned into a full-on downpour to the point of where not just any indie game will garnish attention, but only the ones that managed to stick out. Fuzzy Wuzzy Games is poised to make an impression on the Wii U with their upcoming release Armillo.

I recently had a chance to get my hands on a playable demo of Armillo and to say I was impressed would be an understatement. It features a beautiful graphics engine built on Unity, which is quickly becoming the standard for development on Wii U indie titles. The colors are fantastic, everything is vibrant, and the framerate is rock solid. A quirky and up-beat soundtrack laced all of the four — five, including a special stage — levels I played.

The gameplay is an outstanding blend of Sonic 3D Blast and Super Monkey Ball. While gamers will be quick to say, \”But Sonic 3D Blast sucked!!\” it’s more a matter of perspective. The core concept of Sonic 3D Blast was an isometric 3D world, which Armillo features. The latter rolls, jumps, and dashes through this world, which is on a somewhat set path like Super Monkey Ball. The levels I played did not feature as in-depth traps like those in Super Monkey Ball, but as the game progressed, the platforming became trickier, which shows that the later levels should be good for some difficulty. The game controlled wonderfully and the play was brisk.

Armillo also features secret levels and unlockable content. The secret level I played was a 2D platformer which, once again, was very reminiscent of an early Genesis-era Sonic title. The unlockables come in the form of extra lives, hearts, and new abilities. You gain access to these by beating levels and unlocking them by using orbs you collect. While it’s not mandatory to collect every orb, it is helpful because of the ability to unlock additional moves.

The story  is a sci-fi tale, featuring alien spacecrafts and surprise twists and turns. It isn\’t integral, but the story is interesting to see where it will go next. All that really matters in this type of game, though, is the gameplay. Armillo has been announced with an expected release date of March 24th on the Wii U eShop and, if this demo is indicative of the final product that will be released, you need to prep your wallet. Fuzzy Wuzzy Games is bringing a fantastic game to the Wii U eShop that could have easily been a retail release with a $30 price tag and I would have had no issue spending that. The fact that it will be only $8 is remarkable and I can\’t wait until I get to play the final result.

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Shawn Long
Our favorite youtuber ever, and long-time founding member of our family of sites. The "crass" from our Class vs. Crass podcast