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Date-simulator ‘Sprung’ on America

Observer Scene | Friday, February 18, 2005

Some video games push technology further and further. But then there are the other games – games like “Sprung” – which do the opposite.Essentially a dating game, the player gets to choose from various conversation paths in efforts of wooing the girl of his choice. The game is broken up into multiple chapters where the player can choose different paths. They all lead to the same conclusion, which then limits the interest in a replay.Control is limited to choosing the dialogue and the occasional use of an item. This can lead to a tedious experience, as the game alternates from babying the player to be insanely obscure and difficult. The monotony of choosing what to say is broken up by simple “Simon says” style of game play, elements that have been around since the early days of video games.Designed for the Nintendo DS hand-held gaming system, this game makes decent use of the dual screens. The top half shows the target of the conversation, while the bottom shows your personal avatar. The characters react to the player’s choices in suitable cartoon fashion. This has been done before – just not with two screens.The game does have some redeeming factors. The humor in the game can at times be quite zany and good. It has elements of typical Japanese humor meshed with simple dating antics. This can lead to some humorous situations. At one point in the game the character woos a self-described hippie. Halfway through the conversation with her, she becomes one with her animal spirit and her head is replaced by a cow’s. The character notices this, and is logically thrown off by the sudden metamorphosis. While this dating game was somewhat popular in Japan, it may not find the same success here. It does have some moments of genuine humor, though, which allows some slight redemption.