Save the Turtles [DSiWare] (Nintendo DSi)

A Cute, Addictive, DSiWare Exclusive

by Coop

For the most part, DSiWare has been largely ignored due to a lack of impressive content. Every week, the Nintendo Shop updates with a number of uninspired puzzle games and clocks, constantly failing to live up to the potential Nintendo promised. It's a shame, because for every week that goes by where nothing comes out, the chances that people will notice a quality game on the platform diminishes. One such gem is Sabarasa's Save the Turtles, a game that has players acting as guardians to sea turtles during the most vulnerable time in their life.

Each board starts off the same, with a number of eggs buried in the sand. The player needs to wipe off the sand to expose them to the air, tapping each to break it free. There are a number of different turtles that might pop out, signified with different colored shells. Matching three shells of the same color in a row will cause the water level to come up, bringing them out to sea. As expected, this is slightly more difficult than expected, as they can't simply be swapped, a la Bejeweled. Instead, a path has to be drawn, which the turtle will follow without fail. Environmental objects and hazards can get in the way, adding another fold to the puzzler, as well as other objects that are beneficial to cross. To add some urgency, the sun's rays will beat down on the newborn turtles' backs, lighting fires (which are unintentionally hilarious) that need to be put out.

While it might sound a little too childish, it's actually pretty fun. The music and cute graphics help propel it away from the norm, and the gameplay is strangely addictive. Before long, I found myself humming the theme without realizing it, something that doesn't usually happen with puzzlers. Sure, it's not an incredibly dense game by any means, but it's polished, with few issues beyond a lack of depth. At $5, lack of depth isn't really all that big of a concern.

Save the Turtles looks and sounds like all of the DSiWare games that make up the Nintendo DSi Store at a glance. The name doesn't help, either, making many think that it's another silly, yet utterly ignorable title. This simply isn't the case. While it might not be the biggest game ever released, it's a unique puzzler that draws inspiration from its contemporaries without actually ripping them off. Sure, it might just be a case of a big fish in a small pond, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. For the price, it can't be beat, and is likely one of the best games available for DSiWare.

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  • Sarah

    Yup, I totally ignored this in the Nintendo Shop Update, but it sounds well worth five dollars.

  • 00.19

    not sure this has enough appeal to pull me away from other puzzlers like puzzle quest, and i certainly don't use my dsi enough to warrant purchases on games i wont play.


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