While it stays true to its classic
arcade heritage, Rainbow Islands Revolution offers some unique twists for
the Nintendo DS. This update allows you to draw rainbows and move your
character around the screen using the touch screen. There are two main
modes of play, story and score mode where you have to avoid enemies, draw
rainbows and reach the end of the level. Rainbow Islands is a decent game
because its unique interface, challenging levels and multiplayer modes
effectively create some interesting variations on the familiar gameplay
Published by Codemasters and developed
by Rising Star Games, this DS releases is based on the Taito arcade game
from the 1980's. While it doesn't over-reach by trying to make a 3D game
out of something that doesn't fit, Rainbow Islands Revolution does an
excellent job in bringing the classic gameplay to modern screens without
losing sight of the elements that made it so appealing in the first place.
At the start of each game, you can choose either a story or a score mode.
Rainbow Islands Revolutions brings the series forward with some
interesting control choices. The levels this time around encompass both DS
screens, which can be a little confusing at first. Fortunately, you can
use the shift keys to scroll through which makes the levels easier to
navigate. The basic functionality is also interesting. Instead of using
the standard control pad to move and create rainbows, players use the DS'
touch screen function to draw rainbows and move the characters around.
This system is a little bit awkward and confusing to understand at first,
but the game becomes easier with practice. In order to defeat the enemies,
you first have to draw a rainbow then double click on it to make it fall.
When a rainbow falls, it will destroy any enemies underneath it. You can
also try and defeat these directly by making the rainbows directly on
them. The multitude of challenge and variety of attacks you can use allows
you to put a lot of your own personality into the game, and this
free-wheeling approach makes the gameplay all the more appealing.
While it doesn't usually matter what
shapes you draw your rainbows in, in the Score stages, you can earn extra
points and abilities by drawing special shapes such as a five-point star
which gives your character an immediate power-up. During each round,
you'll also need to keep an eye on your meter to see how many rainbows you
can draw. Additional energy is added each time you defeat an enemy, though
you won't really need to worry about this until you reach the later, more
crowded levels. When you reach the goal at the end of each stage, a
treasure chest pops up that contains bonus fruit that you can collect for
bonus fruits. While the gameplay is difficult at first, there are several
ways in which Rainbow Islands Revolution makes things easier for players.
When you come into contact with an opposing enemy or object, you don't
immediately lose, instead your power-bar decreases until your energy is
depleted. There are several types of enemies and some of these are much
easier to anticipate than others, making them harder to avoid. You'll also
need to be on the lookout for other obstacles in the levels, such as
spikes that can seriously damage your character's health. Players can also
find a number of extra items such as food and stars which they can use to
eliminate their foes.
Playing the game in story mode also
unlocks additional abilities, such as the five-point stars, which destroy
all enemies on the screen when drawn. Players can also draw circles which
create bubbles. Once an enemy is contained in a bubble, they can be moved
around and will destroy anything they come into contact with. You can also
draw triangles to create traps which suck in enemies as well. At the end
of each island, you'll also need to battle a boss character. These
confrontations make for some of the most engaging and intense parts of the
game, and definitely add more challenge to the overall gameplay. Rainbow
Islands Revolution also allows you to compete with other players via the
DS' wi-fi connection. These multiplayer games are quite good as you play
against a friend to see who can eliminate the most enemies and build the
highest score. Between these three modes of play, there are literally
dozens of different levels to play, which means that the game will have
quite some longevity if you really want to delve into it.
The game's presentation and visuals are
excellent, with colorful levels, brightly designed sprites and smooth
animation used to create a distinctly retro feel with some modern touches.
This should make the game appeal to both retro gamers and younger players
looking for something action-oriented yet comic and bright. Unlike many
other misguided updates, Rainbow Islands Revolution sticks with what works
and its 2D presentation works nicely with the DS' screen. An excellent
soundtrack is used and it compliments the action perfectly, setting a
good, light-hearted mood for the player. Codemasters have done an
excellent job in upgrading the game, with its classic gameplay mechanics
very much in evidence but given a unique twist with the touch screen.
While it takes some getting used to the touch screen controls, once you
adjust, you'll find a solidly entertaining and challenging title that
mixes the best of the old with new elements to create an excellent update.
Rainbow Islands Revolution's accessible, enjoyable gameplay means it
should be enjoyable and fun for players of all ages. The game is
recommended for both older, nostalgic gamers and those looking for
enjoyable, challenging fun.