Ishisoft’s Treasure Treasure: Fortress Forage Extra Edition is a co-op puzzle platformer that draws upon an easier era, long before such complications as raids and extensive plotlines, 16-bit technology, or color in portable games. The glory days of Nintendo’s handheld system are recalled as soon as the game is loaded, with an old-school tune and graphics framed a la Super Game Boy. Class.
TT: FFEE is built for co-op, with one player controlling the boy while the other player directs the girl. The easy pacing of the game means that it’s just fine to play solo as well, with the Y button allowing the player to switch back and forth between the two characters. Though there’s not much depth to the characters to differentiate one from the other, you’ll need to use each one in certain situations. The boy can move objects that the girl can’t, and the girl has the superior jump. It’s simple, but it works for a game that only asks that you collect treasure chests.
You’ll have to think your way through the game in order to reach all of the boxes of loot, as some of them can be pretty tricky. Pushing or throwing a bomb at a cracked block may grant access to a treasure chest, while another may require the boy to open a path by pushing a heavy block down a corridor. A particularly high platform may call for the girl to put the boy on her shoulders before the prize is within reach.
Within this game genre, a static vertical or horizontal line would make for an infuriating experience, barring environmental awareness that is so critical to a platformer. TT: FFEE addresses this handily with dynamic screen splitting. When the characters are separated, the screen is bisected by a line that slopes to remain just out of the way and still display the location of both of the playable characters.
While visibility is maintained, a completely different element may frustrate players. Much like the games of yore, there is no save feature to TT: FFEE. If you don’t have enough time to finish the game in one sitting, you may find yourself helpless and angry as one or two final treasure chests escape your grasp. Coming back to start all over and gather up the boxes that you previously opened may try one’s patience.
There’s not much replay in this 80 @MSPoints: title, as once you’ve beaten the brief game there’s really not much to lure you back. It will tax your noggin to decide how to get at the chests the first time around, but with no unlocks, save plus, or online support, TT: FFEE is a short and sweet XBLIG that will inevitably get boxed up and shoved to the back of the closet once you’ve finished it. Come to think of it, that’s just what I’d done with my Game Boy.
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