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Platform(s): Nintendo DS
Genre: Puzzle
Publisher: Agetec


NDS Review - 'LOL'

by Erik "NekoIncardine" Ottosen on July 15, 2008 @ 1:30 a.m. PDT

LOL is played by one of the players making a challenge in writing to the others. The crazier the challenge, the more fun everyone will have. The person who delivered the challenge chooses an appropriate time limit, and everyone has to answer the challenge on their touch screen however they see fit – with words, pictures, or whatever comes to mind. The host reveals the answers, and everyone votes on a winner who will then decide on the challenge for the next round. Always different and a blast to play every time, LOL will, as its name implies, make everyone laugh out loud.

Genre: Party/Multiplayer
Publisher: Agetec
Developer: Route 24
Release Date: May 3, 2008

Certain things just cannot really be reviewed and give you a full context. At first glance, LOL is one of those things. The very concept of the game is one that is centered entirely on creativity — not on the part of the designer, but the player. There are almost no rules in its ludicrous simplicity, resulting in wanting to rate this game not so much as a game, but as a cheap Microsoft Paint clone with rules and silly graphics attached. Unfortunately, once you realize that that pretty much is all there is to LOL, it quickly skitters into "not worth purchasing" territory.

LOL's basic premise is that only one cartridge is required, and up to three other players can join in on the game. Want to play by yourself? That's too bad because there is no single-player component whatsoever. Once the downloads are finished, then the host gets an empty white screen, and scribbles whatever he wants onto it. Everyone gets that screen and writes out their responses. Then the host reveals the responses in whatever order he feels like, and everyone votes on it. After the votes decide who wins, you repeat the process from the host's screen.

That is the entire game. There is nothing else to LOL, other than some cartoonishly drawn numbers. The entire game becomes dependent on your capacity for creativity, which is advertised as a good thing. After all, "If the game is boring, you are boring!", as the game's slogan comments. Apparently, I am either extremely boring or would rather put my creative energies into results that are less ephemeral in nature because this game, even with friends, quickly becomes extremely boring. The "wacky" graphical stylation does not carry enough animation to be any more than painful, nor do the cartoonish but generic sound effects.

The idea here is actually rather sound — put rules to a whiteboard, but try to maximize creativity. The problem is, if the host runs out of ideas, the game ends, as the design offers no ideas, no variations not given to it by the host, and really, no honest possibilities. At that point, the game's ultimate flaw comes forth when you realize that you don't need the framework rules the game offers because it's just as easy to use the integrated DS chat program, PictoChat. You then realize just how little of a premise LOL really offers and how it could have done so much more to actually be creative, rather than just be a poorly done whiteboard that tries to be creative.

In short, LOL is not worth it. The complete lack of single-player gameplay in any form, of enough actual gameplay to make a full game out of it, or, well, anything of interest that you cannot do with Pictochat makes its premise essentially useless to pretty much all players. Just tap the "Pictochat" button on your DS and start coming up with ideas; you'll have a lot more fun that way, and you won't have paid money for a prettied-up tech demo.

Score: 4.0/10

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