Bliss Island

By on November 12, 2006

Cute but not cute enough.

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First Impressions
My reaction is

Every now and then, I will come across a seemingly shallow game in the bargain bin that actually happens to be an overlooked gem with tremendous appeal for people of all ages and addictive fun right out of the box. Is Bliss Island one of these rare jewels? In just one word, I would say: No.

Bliss Island is a tropical island inhabited by Zwoophs. Zwoophs are round, furry animals with powerful snouts that they use for making clouds. Cloud-making is their livelihood but it gets tiring and so they get to take a break once in a while. This is where you come in; you play as one of the Zwoophs during their recess.

The Zwoophs play some fun little games, all of which involve blowing puffs from their cloud-making snouts to control a bouncing (for lack of a better descriptor) sphere. Each of the games has its own rules such as directing the sphere onto ugly bugs that pop out of holes or knocking a sphere onto a flower upon which aphids have decided to invade. Every single one of these games involves the Zwooph, its puffs, and a sphere. All you need to do is aim your snout at the sphere and click to send it bouncing in the right direction. It couldn’t be any simpler and requires only the use of your mouse hand. There are variations of this theme but there are no surprises whatsoever.

The graphics are surprisingly good in terms of both effects and art. The colorful scenes make it less painful to endure the monotone gameplay. The sound is forgettable except for one effect that I quite enjoyed- the sound of two rocks smashing against one another. That was definitely one of the better rock-smashing clips that I’ve heard in a while. The game also doesn’t waste any time in getting you huffing and puffing to your heart’s content; the install lasted all of two minutes and the game is but a few clicks away from the main menu with hardly any load time.

There’s really nothing wrong with the gameplay per se; it’s actually quite fun at first and I could actually enjoy this game a lot- if I had a 15 minute memory span. After the first few rounds, the next few will simply cycle through the last game types albeit with higher difficulty levels such as adding moving obstacles or increasing the number of targets. This type of repetitive gameplay may have been wildly successful in the early days of video gaming but nowadays, it’s a mini-game at best.

Bliss Island has a good thing going but there’s just not enough content for it to be taken seriously. If only there were more game types thrown in rather than simple variations of puff-shooting- all of which quickly grow stale. There’s nothing wrong with simple but fun games. It’s just that no-one wants to play the same simple game without something else to look forward to.


The Scorecard
GAMEPLAY
3
More of a series of mini-games than a complete game.
GRAPHICS
6
Better than I expected but not terribly special.
SOUND
5
Good rock-crushing sound but not much else.
VALUE
3
Even for half the price of a normal game, it's hard to recommend.
FUN FACTOR
4
Cute but not cute enough.
OVERALL
4.2
The Zwoophs should just go back to work.

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