By: Quinn Potter
Wondershot is an intriguing puzzler/combat game with potential, but is there enough here to make it worth an afternoon’s play?
Controls are pretty basic – shoot and turn. Different characters have different moves.
Call it cartoony or graphic novel-ish, but the graphics are actually pretty cute. Details are minimal and not really needed to move the action along. Whether you are chasing monstees around bushes or rocks, it doesn’t make much of a difference to the battle, so there’s little need for rich graphics.
For the comic-style font, menus are surprisingly easy to read and navigate. The main gameplay, however, is squeezed into a smaller screen than necessary, which makes it hard to follow the action at times.
Background music has a peppy little piccolo and synthesized beat to keep players awake and moving, though the munchkin-like narrator’s voice is annoying. None of the sounds generated by the weapons or enemies are particularly novel and all are repetitive.
Based on the music and graphics, it seems like the intended audience is for those who enjoy an “E” rating, although it’s actually rated “E10+.”
The premise of Wondershot is that you are defending your medieval town from invaders. These enemies are “monstees” and come in a variety of shapes. There are two modes: battle or adventure.
In adventure mode, choose from challenge or endless. Challenge is basically the only option when you are playing solo. It will lead to defensive battles that take place in the kingdom, the forest, or the world of monstees. When you are in the kingdom, you may be fighting in a castle, courtyard, maze, or rocky enclosure.
No matter where you are fighting, the gameplay is going to take place in the same small square format. Different levels have different characters with different weapons. This means you’ll have a different strategy for each level.
None of the action is too difficult to master, so you’ll move up levels pretty rapidly. Around Chapter 3, however, you might be stymied by the sudden increase in difficulty, which will lead to some frustration.
In battle mode, you fight in teams or one-on-one. You can choose your own character and have control over modifying a number of different rules. There is no AI to fight against in battles, so you’re going to want some local co-op to play with you. The same goes for Endless mode, where you’ll pick a character and a weapon so you can join your mates and fight monstees until you die.
So here we have a conundrum: super-fun graphics with slightly repetitive music and battles, but no on-line co-op for a game that would clearly benefit from that option. Wondershot is thin on content and skews a little young for most gamers, yet it’s rated and intended for players who are at least old enough to enjoy group play.