I’ll admit it and tell anyone: I’m not a gamer. I’d rather spend my time crafting essays, articles and books instead of pressing A or X or figuring out what that button on the back of the Xbox One controller does.
However, I’m the mother of gamers – in fact, one of my 12-year-old gamers pressed that button so fast while playing a Naruto game that it mimicked a seizure. That’s why it was interesting to see my own little focus group of gamers check out Project Spark’s beta on Xbox One soon after downloading the game.
“Next Gen? Whatever!”
That was the honest refrain regarding the graphics, after a voice thanked us for participating in the beta. You are forced to complete the tutorial, and it’s a complicated game that will never beat Little Big Planet, so they say.
After calibrating the Project Spark view by pressing left, right, up and down, we began.
“It looks like Brave,” one girl noted.
“The graphics are terrible – and this is supposed to be ‘Next Gen,’” huffed the boy all while the voice proclaimed that it was good to see us ready to travel the universe, informing us that the universe was waiting for us to bring it to life.
Are you a player, creator or both?
The tide of emotions changed once given the chance to determine what kind of “spark” we were: a player, creator or both. After choosing that we wanted to be a squirrel, and that we wanted to learn to create first instead of playing crossroad, we were off to the races.
That squirrel looked awfully friggin’ small on that honey-comb pattern type of world, so leave it to Mommy to hit up the Interwebs for more info. “Holding RB allows you to zoom the camera with the left stick,” came the helpful answer.
“The animation for water looks so bad it looks like he’s flying,” the gamer boy noted, but found it pretty cool that the Woodland Ranger Male has firepower and swims with fire. He looks like Flint Lockwood.
Check out the best Project Spark worlds
Taking a detour over to the best worlds turned up “Anti-Smasher,” where opposites collide. This looks like one of those impossible puzzles, but you can experience broken symmetry that throws your head back with delight.
“This is fun. You’re supposed to make them collide,” gamer boy noted, then figured out that you can follow people. “It’s like a Facebook.”
Snick Man is like Pac Man, and it’s within that world and others that we saw a lot of stuff that looks exactly like Little Big Planet in Project Spark, like the pink stuff in Snick Man’s game that looks like Pink Floaty.
“This is actually kind of hard,” said the boy.
Indeed. With Project Spark beta, you’ll need the tutorial so go to JoinProjectSpark.com if you haven’t already downloaded the beta game to get started.
Pretty Project Spark
In the end, Project Spark is pretty, despite the “rager” complaints about the graphics. As you can see from the screenshots peppered throughout this article, there are scenes in the game that can rival the prettiest jewelry or stuff you’d find at Tiffany’s somewhere.
One kid started singing “Do you want to build a snowman?” when viewing this beautiful scene:
Be warned: There’s no standalone story type of mode, and it’s all user-created content like puzzle games, Tetris remakes, etc.
Not bad for a non-gamer review, huh?
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