WireWay Preview: Drawn to Flight

Konami's WireWay has gamers drawing elastic lines on a DS screen to flick an alien hero through dangerous environments. Can such a simple concept deliver enough fun to warrant a full blown game?

What Is It?
WireWay is a DS puzzle game that has you flicking a tiny alien around a world using elastic bands you draw between points on the screen. The game includes a 48-level quest mode and a challenge mode. There will also be a versus mode.

What We Saw
I played through a couple levels of the puzzler.

How Far Along Is It?
The game is set for an October release, but the build I played was in Alpha.

What Needs Improvement?
Repetition: As fun as the basic concept is, the idea of flicking my way through 48 levels is somewhat daunting. The levels I saw were very similar. Hopefully, as the game progresses, the developers add some new twists to the premise.

What Should Stay The Same?
Strong, Simple Concept: The idea of controlling not your character, but your surroundings isn't done enough in video games. In this case you can only make Wiley Springer move forward in a straight line by touching him. The rest of the controls are about drawing lines on the screen and then, once Wiley is clinging to one, pulling back on it with the stylus and flicking him to the next line you've drawn. It's a fun concept and it works well to make the game an interesting puzzler.

No Death: Instead of worrying about killing off Wiley, or running out of time, you just have to concentrate on not getting him stuck somewhere and making your way to the end. I like the notion of a puzzler that doesn't try to stress you out.

Final Thoughts
WireWay is a fun little puzzler, a bit of light fare at a time when developers are churning out deep, enthralling, time-consuming experiences. It's nice, sometimes, to take a break and not have to think about plot or character development or strategy when you do.