Review: Little Wheel

Well, another day, another charming flash adventure. Oh, and I’m back, by the way. *waves*

Little Wheel is… well, it’s another charming flash adventure, obv. Also, it’s a game about robots. And lord knows us gamers like robots, right? Right. Well, not only is it about robots, but it’s about cute robots; cute robots on a planet where their power supply suddenly breaks, causing all of the robots to deactivate.

And stay that way.

Of course, eventually something happens – it wouldn’t be much of a game otherwise. Well, it might be a fun nod to Journey To Alpha Centauri (a fictional title featured in the fantastic book for children Only You Can Save Mankind), in which the player travels to Alpha Centauri in real time, ending after being left running for three thousand years with the message “Welcome to Alpha Centauri. Now go home”. But were that the case, once the joke wore off it’d wear a little thin.

No, after 10,000 years, one of the deactivated robots is struck by lightning, bringing it back to life (evidently this is not a planet particularly prone to electrical storms). And, naturally enough, it’s your job to lead this robot to the central power supply and fix it.

As simple as it seems

As simple as it seems

What follows is a short, sweet adventure, with minimal thinking required (single-screen, inventory-free puzzles where all the hotspots used to solve puzzles are very loudly advertised). In fact, it’s a pity that there isn’t a little more substance to the experience – there aren’t a great deal of screens to clear, which combined with the simplicity of the actual gaming elements makes it a very brief experience indeed – and it’s not a game which lends itself to being replayed.

But let’s not damn it for its brevity – in a way, that’s part of the charm; this is a tasty snack of a game. Far better to focus on the wonderful art style, and simple pleasure of playing through it that single time. A real coffee-break game, for when you just need to blow off a little steam with something relaxing and mindless.

Simple Pleasure out of Twenty


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June 2009
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