Game Review: Foto Face: The Face Stealer Strikes (DSi)

FOTO_BOXSo you’ve played games starring plumbers, hedgehogs, warriors, mercenaries, and maybe even a lawyer or two. But have you ever played a game starring YOU? Yes, you. Your face, your voice. Well now you can in Foto Face: The Face Stealer Strikes, a downloadable DSiWare game for the Nintendo DSi.


At heart, Foto Face is a typical 2-D platform jumping adventure, with moving platforms, collectable items, switch puzzles, and crazy locations and enemies. You character can change into costumes on the fly, and each outfit has its own special abilities. Some let you use close range melee weapons, others let you toss long range projectiles. And some costumes allow you to run faster and jump higher.


But the main gimmick in Foto Face is that you can have your own face and voice on characters in the game! Before you start, the game will ask you to design your hero. Using the DSi camera, you’ll take a few photos of yourself (or whoever you want), with a few facial expressions that’ll be used in the game. Then you’ll record a few voice samples. So when you collect a health icon, special item, or complete a level, you can say something happy like “All right,” “Yay,” or “BURP!” And when you get hit, you can make your character say “Ouch,” “Uh-oh,” or “BARF!”


When you encounter an enemy in the game for the first time, you can take pictures and record voice samples for them, too. So you can have a whole game that stars all your family and friends! You don’t have to take a picture for every enemy right away, though. Each character in the game is saved to a gallery where you can always go back and edit them later. When you complete levels or collect all the stars in a stage, you’ll get a photo that is then saved to your DSi Photo Album.


Kid Factor:

Foto Face is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Cartoon Violence. Your character can use swords, clubs, guns and knives against enemies, but all they do when hit is fall off the screen and shout whatever you recorded as their voice. Reading skill is helpful for the text instructions and dialogue, and younger gamers may need help with some of the tougher jumps and puzzles in the game. While I can’t see a hardcore gamer really being into this, I can imagine a kid getting a kick out of taking pictures of themselves and their friends and putting them into the game. And for only 800 points (about 8 bucks), it’s not a bad price for that kind of entertainment.

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