I’ve played some dull Xbox Live Arcade titles in my time, but Bliss Island perhaps ranks near the top of them. This is definitely a game aimed at children and even then they’ll be struggling to make much sense of it.
At 400 Points it doesn’t come at a bargain price either. The game is something that would look at home on an internet website with games aimed at children (they call them browser games). The whole experience is supposed to be cute and colourful for children but instead Pom Pom and Codemasters have churned out a sickly port of the PSP handheld version that appeared in 2007.
So why is Bliss Island so bad exactly? Well it’s all down to a mish-mash of content and games really. A storyline which sees the magical Zwooph (a mythical magical creature which puffs out air) is at the centre of the majority of the games and Hoshi is our fuzz ball friend.
On offer is a set of seven challenges which range from directing fruit into the mouth of a monster to pressing A and directing a fuzz ball through a insanely boring cavern. The games feel cheap and tacky and most of them certainly are. These type of things can be found on the internet for free. And if something is free, it isn’t worth paying for on the Xbox 360!
As you complete each level you open up a new mini-game. The game can get frustrating too, especially as this seems to be aimed at children; the Block game which you have to break the same coloured blocks can become incredibly annoying and is most certainly difficult to finish without loosing all your three lives. It may come as a challenge to some people, but to others you’ll be flicking the off button before you know it.
The lack of variety and complexity to the mini-games is just scratching the surface. Below it is a graphics design package worthy of a 1980’s cartoon. The text is difficult to read on the bright backgrounds and the animation and colours are tacky. HD doesn’t make this any better either as the game runs in a low resolution with borders round the edge. Bad huh? Just don’t mention the sound either, mute comes to mind.
All-in-all we have a causal game which will fail to ignite any sparks in the Arcade. It’s squarely aimed at children yet a frustrating change in difficulty for each game will see you trying or just turning the game off after loosing a few lives. Yes there is a difficult factor, but it isn’t one you can relay on to enhance the game experience. Bright and in touch with gamers? No this’ll just fade in a puff of hot air…