By: Justin Redmon
On the surface, Siesta Fiesta is the happy tale of a sleeping Siesta being taken to Fiestaville, home of the Fiestas, for a one-of-a-kind tour and all-around party. Delve deeper, though, and things start looking a little more sinister. Siesta was all but kidnapped and is now forced to participate in Breakout-influenced gameplay across scrolling levels, all the while Fiestas look on, never blinking, never breaking that giant toothy grin.
Mojo Bones has probably created a game worthy of someone’s nightmares here, but thankfully, Siesta Fiesta is anything but, taking the best of pick-up-and-play stylings and creating a charming game with tons to offer.
Now, with Breakout-style gameplay, controls are honestly as simple as it gets, but smart button placement helps Siesta Fiesta control exactly how you’d like regardless of whether you choose to use the touch screen or the buttons for movement of your paddle. The game’s physics feel fair enough to keep you in control the majority of the time, but they can still put you in situations where the ball is bouncing around uncontrollably. This lends a slight wrinkle of difficulty to high score runs by adding a dash of randomness, which can all but ruin some attempts at more precise shots and waste precious time adjusting while the stage scrolls on by.
When it comes to presentation, Siesta Fiesta is extremely reminiscent of the new Rayman games in look and style, following in its example of bright and charming levels — whether at the beach, through a factory, or a few other choice locales. Each stage also has tons of things happening in the backgrounds, and regardless of whether the Fiestaville denizens are cheering you on or just interacting with each other, their antics help breathe some life into the levels and add character to stages that would’ve been somewhat flat otherwise.
My favorite part, though, has to be the music, which, like look of the game, takes on Rayman stylings in the form of Lum backings. Overall, it’s the complete package when it comes to making a well realized world, where every effort in bringing you into it pays off.
Nightmare scenario aside, Siesta Fiesta goes by the tried-and-true Breakout formula for its gameplay, with most of the action taking place across scrolling levels. As you’d expect, shot placement is crucial, where hitting the middle of you paddle sends the ball straight back up, and off to either side sends it at an angle dependent on your placement. There’s tons of control here, and even moreso when taken that a correctly timed button press or tap of the screen will send your ball even higher, which has a lax enough timing window that no one should have any trouble hitting their shots.
The scrolling levels both work toward adding an almost adventurous feel to stages and difficulty to shots, where certain obstacles have you doing things like arcing shots through hoops, awarding points for hitting every one in a single go, or piñata styled boxes and other destructables that may take multiple hits to break — and those are often surrounded by point-deducting obstacles.
It may sound simple, but there’s a surprising amount of variety in the obstacles and level setups, and more often than not, sections of levels will take on a puzzle-like quality, while different powerups and paddles keep things fresh even long into the game, most notably in the boss battle stages, which are my favorite of the bunch.
With three medals to acquire for each stage, first runs act more as an introduction, and with eight locales and 64 levels, there’s plenty here to enjoy (or obsess over if going for gold is your thing), which leads me to my only minor complaint about Siesta Fiesta.
Even though I enjoyed my time with Siesta Fiesta, something I should mention that this game lends itself very well to knocking out two or three levels and stopping for later; it’s the best way to enjoy what it offers. If you’re the type of player who tends to burn through a title, this one might not be best for you. Regardless, Siesta Fiesta is a charming twist on a classic game that’s worth checking out.
Mojo Bones understands what it takes to make a great mobile game, and, when played in short bursts, Siesta Fiesta delivers a charming experience that anyone can enjoy.