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Way to Go!

I dabbled in Makivision’s “Sacraboar”, an RTS with a capture-the-flag theme, for a bit.  Imagine my surprise when I heard that they had gone in a completely different direction and developed “Way to Go!”, a game featuring challenging puzzles.  In “Way to Go!”, players will be guiding Rob, Egg, and Liz through a series of levels in an attempt to find gems stolen from the Temple of Peace.  Not to worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds…or is it?  Before I go any further, I’d like to quickly thank Oliver Silski from Makivision Games for reaching out to me and providing me with a free review copy.

Way to Go!

Way to Go! (Windows, Mac, Linux)

The main menu will allow the player to experience a variety of different game modes, adjust game options, access a help menu, and view any cutscenes that they may have encountered in their travels.  The options menu covers audio sliders, language, and fullscreen toggle.  The help menu is a six page slide show explaining the game’s different modes and how to navigate around the game’s interface.  I highly recommend brushing up with this primer first before getting started in adventure mode.  Before you even get to the main menu, it’s worth noting that you can choose between four profile slots.  I appreciate this feature, mainly so that the kids can have their own profile without messing with mine.

In all, the game features a little over four hundred levels.  The adventure mode contains the majority of them, which are scattered about on a world map that you’ll be navigating with the three primary protagonists.  Levels start out easy, but become progressively harder as you make your way through this mode.  The three characters under your control (Rob, Egg, and Liz) are unique in that they each have special abilities and personalities to call their own.  They’ll each progress along a scripted path, following the narrative of the story as it unfolds.  On occasion, they’ll cross paths and enter a particular stage together.  I found these levels the most interesting, as I had to use their unique skills and teamwork to complete the level.

Way to Go!

The first set of levels are easy enough to get into the game, but it doesn’t stay easy for long.

The other modes (missions, coin hunt, roadworks, and dark designs) play similarly to the levels found in adventure mode, but with special twists.  Coin hunt, for example, tasks the player with collecting all of the coins in a level.  Roadworks is similar, but you’ll need to put all of the crates into the holes throughout the level.  Dark designs is probably my favorite out of the bunch, as you’ll need to “reverse engineer” the level by placing objects (as opposed to commands) so that the hero can reach the exit.  It’s important to note that you’ll need to unlock these extras in adventure mode first before you can actually begin playing them.

The interface does a good job in keeping things easy and organized, giving the player more time to worry about how they’ll get past the current puzzle in front of them.  The bottom of the interface lays out buttons that control the flow of time, including (my favorite) a back button that allows you to take back mistakes as you make them.  Along the top are commands available for that level, which you’ll use to guide your character from the start to finish.  These commands might tell the character to turn in a different direction or perform a special action.  Characters move in a straight line until the path either ends or hits something unexpected, like an intersection or an object in the environment.  Those who have played “Hairy Tales” may be familiar with this movement algorithm.

Way to Go!

Some levels involve pushing crates into holes so that you can walk over them.

The puzzles themselves are actually fairly challenging.  It’s easy to see the cutesy nature of the game and figure that you could finish the game in under an hour.  Not so.  I was very pleased to see that these levels weren’t timed and that I could pause the action to issue orders to these characters as I saw fit.  There’s also a step-counting feature for you perfectionists out there who must always find the perfect solution to a puzzle.  Trophies are awarded to the players who takes the time to do so, which mainly serve as bragging rights to anyone else who might play the game in your household.  The backdrops and themes in the levels featured throughout the game, while cartoonish, are beautiful and fun to look at.

As a puzzle game, “Way to Go!” has a lot going for it.  As a father, I appreciate a game that is both challenging for adults and appropriate for the kids to play.  To top that off, the puzzles are a great way to hone a child’s critical thinking skills.  The concepts are easy to grasp, but the sheer amount of levels will provide players with hours of gameplay.  The step-counting feature adds a bit of replayability, giving you a reason to go back and finish levels you didn’t complete perfectly.  While the game works fine as a single player experience, the co-op levels would have been fun to see in a multiplayer setting.  A level designer with the purpose of sharing user-created content online certainly wouldn’t have hurt either.  Still, there’s enough here to warrant the $9.99 price tag.  If you’re someone who doesn’t mind a less mature theme in their games and enjoys puzzles, then “Way to Go!” just may be perfect for your household.  This goes double if you have kids who are able to sit still for longer than ten seconds and don’t mind a good brain teaser.  There’s a demo available (link below) should you wish to try before you buy.

Final Verdict: 8/10

You can learn more about and purchase “Way to Go!” by visiting the following websites:

http://www.waytogo-game.com/

http://www.waytogo-game.com/Demo/Demo.html

http://www.desura.com/games/way-to-go

You can help bring the game to Steam by voting for it on its Greenlight page, here:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=140016098

You can view video play sessions here:

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