|System: Wii U|
|Release: March 5, 2015|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Mild Fantasy Violence|
Once you've unlocked what you want, designing levels is easy and intuitive. Level pieces are simple to place and manipulate, and you can't share your level until you have successfully completed it while gathering all collectibles. It's also relatively quick and simple to browse and play user-created levels, but as with many games like this, the sorting options are insufficient. The only way to sort is by popularity. There isn't even an option to indicate difficulty level, so dead simple levels based on popular topics like “Flappy Mario” tend to float to the top. Still, some users have done some impressive things with the simple tools at hand, making me anticipate what we'll see when Mario Maker comes out.
Unusually for a Nintendo game, Tipping Stars suffers in the production department. The graphics are nothing particularly special and the music sounds like Mario themes infused with the soulless cheer of the tunes that play while you're standing in line for rides at Disneyland. Most unforgivable, at least in the Wii U version of the game that I played, are the loading times. Even playing the offline levels requires waiting far longer than you should for brief levels that use simple assets.
The best part of playing Tipping Stars is finding a devilishly clever community-made level to enjoy, but is that good enough? The basic gameplay in this entry just seems uninspired, especially its main campaign. It feels like Nintendo's famed devotion to fun first is simply missing from the game, which merely ports a too-familiar formula to new devices. It's time to just let these lemmings jump off the cliff.
Date: March 10, 2015