One day while resting in his house a middle-aged man hears a voice, which leads him to a nearby pool of water. Here Uncle Rupee reveals himself and explains that the pond is a gateway to a paradise called Rupeeland that can only be activated by throwing money into the pool. Uncle Rupee then transforms the player into the mischievous Tingle. Fans of the Legend of Zelda franchise will remember Tingle as a peculiar character from this series who helps Link on his quest but only in return for cold hard cash. Now Zelda fans can finally solve the riddle behind this character and experience Tingle’s story!
Tingle is by no means your typical video game ‘hero’. For a start he does nothing for free, instead only completing tasks and helping people for a fee. As he progresses through the game Tingle must complete sub-quests, explore dungeons and sell maps he draws for Rupees, which he can then feed to the pool in his garden to make a tower grow and give him access to new areas. Rupees collected are shown at the top of the screen and decrease when Tingle is hurt or has to buy something.
Utilising the Nintendo DS touch-screen and stylus, Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland is fun and intuitive to play, whatever your gaming experience. This alternative hero is moved around the screen using either the d-pad or YXAB buttons so both right and left-handed stylus control can be used, while everything else in-game is controlled via the touch screen. Players can interact with characters and items that they encounter by simply tapping them with their stylus. The game’s payment screen is equally intuitive to use with an on-screen numeric keyboard that players must simply tap.
As many a stock-trader will confirm, you must speculate to accumulate and in this game it is no different. On his weird and wonderful journeys Tingle will encounter other characters with items or information he requires, but this all comes at a price. Players must use their best skills to haggle to get the ultimate deal they can on the items they need. Be careful though, if you are too greedy you may end up getting less than you bargained for and could end up losing out in the long run.
Tingle may be dressed like a fairy but unfortunately he has nearly no powers or abilities except a love of collecting money, meaning that hired muscle is needed to help him survive. Parting with his precious funds allows Tingle to hire bodyguards to keep him out of danger as well as aid him with different abilities such as lock-picking and access to impassable areas.
Aside from adventuring, Tingle can utilise his map-making skills to earn himself a supplemental income. When exploring an area players will be able to view the area on their map screen. When they come across points of interest not marked on the chart, they can circle the exact spot using the Nintendo DS stylus and then sell their updated maps in town for a hefty sum.
With a wacky sense of humour and a quirky and colourful look, Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland launches across Europe for the Nintendo DS on 14th September 2007 at an estimated retail price of around £25.