Tokobot Plus: Mysteries Of The Karakuri Review (PS2)

by June 4th, 2007

It’s Platform Jim, but not as we know it.

Let me make this clear before I start, I have listed this game as an action adventure, but it is more adventure/puzzler

Well I am no stranger to the platform / adventure genre but this game is unlike most others I have played. If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I would say ‘prince of Persia crossed with ratchet and clank for kids’. Tokobot plus revolves around a young boy named Bolt’s quest to become a treasure hunter/archaeologist, referred to as a ‘Treasure Master’. The game explains that tens of thousands of years ago in the prehistoric times, there was a highly advanced civilisation named, rather unimaginatively, ‘The Prehistorics’. These people had technologies such as robots and an infinite source of energy long before mankind as we know it even existed. This civilisation however crumbled for some reason or another and as humans learned of it thousands of years later, the ‘treasure masters’ searched, and continue to search the ruins of this civilisation for clues to unlock the prehistoric technologies.

Overall, the colours and anime drawing style may appeal to children…

The Gameplay revolves around your character bolt controlling 6 small robots named tokobots (increased to 8 in the second level). These robots can be used to attack other robots that guard the ruins (called Keepers) and can also morph into other shapes to either provide more powerful attacks or special abilities to help you solve puzzles. These abilities and attacks are earned by finding relics in the ruins which are analysed back at the laboratory.

I have three criticisms of this game which I will list in no particular order:

1. The camera movement is horrible; you cannot move the camera if an obstacle, such as a wall, is in the way of the camera moving in an arc. This can become rather irritating, as you can miss entire areas because you didn’t see them as the camera was so restrictive

2. Cut scenes, the metal gear series has NOTHING on this. You move through one or two rooms and you are stopped while one or more of your companions has a huge rant about something or other, usually giving un-necessary hints. For example, in a puzzle where you must connect 3 points by dropping the 3 correct blocks in the 3 correct holes, a hologram on the wall shows a diagram of the points linked in a triangle shape, one of your contacts says, ”hmmm, what’s this? A triangle connected out of three points, could this be a clue to the puzzle, connect the points with the right blocks maybe?” By the end of this dialogue I was shouting obscenities at the television, as it made the puzzle completely unenjoyable.

3. The simplicity and frustration of this game. First of all, as with most games you are given a tutorial level, however unlike most other games, this consists of a weighty scene of dialogue around every corner. The game also forces you to backtrack through many areas once you have learned new abilities so that you can reach new areas etc? which becomes annoying, as you have to fight the same enemies again after defeating them when passing through the first time. Aside from this, the game is mostly linear and extremely simple, but monotonously long winded. Some puzzles can be frustrating, but they all seem logical.

Overall, the colours and anime drawing style may appeal to children, and the Gameplay is also clearly geared towards the younger generation. The game is slightly enjoyable for older players but will not likely prove challenging or rewarding. Great fun for the kids but if you are looking for a challenge or a thrill, keep looking.

The Good: an original idea and storyline
good animation throughout most of game
kiddy friendly
The Bad: annoying amounts of dialogue/cut scenes
awkward camera system
gives un-necessary amounts of hints


Tokobot Plus: Mysteries Of The Karakuri Tokobot Plus: Mysteries Of The Karakuri Tokobot Plus: Mysteries Of The Karakuri Tokobot Plus: Mysteries Of The Karakuri Tokobot Plus: Mysteries Of The Karakuri 


Bronze Y AwardBronze Y Award
3.5 3.5 / 5
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Sam P

Sam, 21, recently graduated music & theology student. I live in Coventry, and currently work as a waiter in a hotel, which isn't the most glamorous job, but it's paying off my debts. My first experience of gaming was bubble bobble on the commodore 64, and I've been pretty much hooked since. I really enjoy the old point & click adventure games, and adventure platforming games in general.

About Sam P

Sam, 21, recently graduated music & theology student. I live in Coventry, and currently work as a waiter in a hotel, which isn't the most glamorous job, but it's paying off my debts. My first experience of gaming was bubble bobble on the commodore 64, and I've been pretty much hooked since. I really enjoy the old point & click adventure games, and adventure platforming games in general.

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