Armillo (Wii U)

ARMILLO_BOXArmillo is an intergalactic space armadillo who lives peacefully on his home planet.  But one day, evil mechanical alien Darkbots invade his galaxy and kidnap Armillo’s brother.  Now it’s up to Armillo to roll out and save the day and rescue his brother.  Armillo is a downloadable Wii U game that’s a lot better than what you might think.

Armillo is like a mix-up of various other games.  You roll around spherical planetoid worlds, similar to those found in Super Mario Galaxy.  The game stars a cute mascot cartoon character like Sonic the Hedgehog.  You’ll roll and avoid obstacles and pits like Super Monkey Ball or Marble Madness.  And you’ll zip around mazes nabbing items like Pac-Man.  Armillo will roll up like a ball when you move, and he can jump over pits and obstacles and boost dash to ram into rocks and enemies blocking your way.

In each planet you’ll roll around mazes and solve puzzles and avoid obstacles and defeat enemies.  Scattered about the levels are items and power-ups for you to nab.  Trapped in each world are little blue aliens for you to free.  Collect orbs which you can spend on upgrades in the shop, such as more health, lives, and time.  Power-ups make you temporarily big, or turn you into a square so you can stomp enemies flat.  There are also portals that will take you to a parallel alternate universe world.  In these areas, you’ll usually collect keys to unlock doors on the other side, or find hidden paths.  Each planet’s alternate universe also contains a special cube that, when collected, unlocks a special bonus 2-D platforming stage with a red orb to collect at the end.  You’ll want to collect as many red orbs and free as many blue aliens as you can, because that’s how you unlock the boss stages at the end of each solar system.  You won’t have trouble at first, but around the third world or so, you may have to backtrack and replay levels to find those items you need.

When you complete a world, you go to a bonus stage moon to try and collect as many orbs as you can within the time limit.  The more blue aliens you free, the more time you’ll have on the bonus moon.  Each level houses tons of hidden secrets and areas, and you’ll even unlock a bonus planet or two (one has an awesome Shovel Knight cameo).  Really the only problem I had with this game is that it’s a tiny bit buggy.  I didn’t experience any game breaking bugs myself, but sometimes the action would freeze up for less than a second, which got a little annoying after a while.  Sometimes the controls felt a little inaccurate while dashing, but that could just be me.  Armillo really reminds me of a game you’d find on the N64 or GameCube (graphically better of course).  It stars a cartoon mascot character, isn’t too short or too long, and doesn’t try to be too big for its britches like a lot of today’s games do.  Because of all that, Armillo is a breath of fresh air in the gaming world, and ended up being a lot better than I thought it would be.  Definitely worth a download if you have a Wii U.


Kid Factor:

Armillo is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence.  When you defeat enemies or robots by slamming into them, they’ll just flash and disappear, or explode if they’re a robot baddie.  If you are defeated, you’re just whisked back to the last checkpoint with maybe a cartoony squish animation.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and while the game isn’t TOO difficult, younger gamers may need help with the more tougher, later levels.

One Response to “Armillo (Wii U)”

  1. Looks like a game I’d have fun with, now I just need to get a Wii U.

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