Review by Randomer

"In some ways, not what it says on the box... Is this really a dating sim???"

Intro:
Sprung is a launch title for the Nintendo DS, it is a dating game set in a remote ski resort in the Rocky Mountains. In my opinion it is not a dating game, it is a ‘basic social adventure set in a ski resort featuring stereotypical characters, lots of jokes, bad one-liners and strange situations.

Graphics:
Nice well drawn characters and some nice artwork. There is not much to delve into here. The characters express well a wide range of emotions. The backgrounds are quite simple and are often repeated.

Gameplay:
Ok, the Gameplay is really simple, select your desired dialogue and see what happens, do it again, see what happens. If you like loads of variety in what you do then avoid this game! Many other reviews have said how easy it is to fail this game and that if you don't pick the exact set of lines you will fail. That is not true.

All of the scenes are split into several parts, each part has one beginning. The conversations spans out from there, in many conversations there are several routs to one set of phrases, these then branch out to more joining or game overs. You don't instantly fail if you put one foot out of line; you fail if you go the wrong way for too long or go the wrong way during a sensitive point of the conversation. I can't really explain this in detail for fear of spoiling some of the games best scenes.

Perhaps this games biggest problem is the reason I like it a lot. So far I have played truth or dare, served in restaurants, had argument battles, played god knows how many mini games, done several weird black and white arguments and mystery quests, had to get information out of people, get people on my side and turn others against others. There are a few dates slotted among these. This game is NOT really a dating game, it is a crude social simulator restricted by the DS hardware and the complexity of the human mind.

One of the other quirks in this game is the little random things that happen, or the little things you can do. There are amusing scenes with hedgehogs and underwear. Let a character have a go on a DS and they say the funniest things, the pepper spray is also great fun if you ever give up on a scene. (Trust me, you will). One last thing I must point out before I move on is that there are not many characters in this game; it would never be good just for dating as there are so few people available to date.

Sound:
Simple ambient music that works well with the settings. It does get annoying eventually however. One thing that I agree on with most of the other reviews is that there are no voice overs; these are due to the hardware limitations of the DS. But they are not essential.

Story:
I can't say much without spoiling, but basically Brett and Becky head to the ski resort to find a perfect partner, it all goes pear shaped soon. You play as either Brett or Becky in two very different stories. Both are just as good, but in my opinion Brett's is harder.

Replay:
This game would be even better if you could restart at any scene, I want to repeat the truth or dare one several times. You may want to play again, you may not. I know I will.

Overall:
I am giving this game a 9/10 it has a few annoying flaws, but loads of good points. I would recommend The Sims Busting Out on GBA, the conversation systems are similar and the games have a similar ‘feel' in my opinion, even though their gameplays are vastly different. If you are a fan of so-called ‘social games' (Harvest Moon, console based Sims, Animal Crossing) then you may enjoy this game more than most. In my opinion this is a good attempt at something original and deserves some praise.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/27/05


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