Get the Ball Rolling
Posted 4 years ago By - Zach R.
Every once in a while, a quirky little puzzle game comes along that makes you rethink the genre as a whole. At first glance, DK Games’ Equilibrio is an easy game to brush aside. Likened to Super Monkey Ball and other ball rolling games one the Wii, it’s simple to scoff and write it off as another simplistic puzzle game for the casual crowd. The question is, would you be wrong to think that, or are things exactly as they seem?
There’s something to be said for simplicity, and Equilibrio definitely has the key ingredient down. This is a game that doesn’t demand very much from its players. You’re really just guiding a ball comprised of various materials throughout mazes filled with obstacles. To do this, you only need to tilt the Wii remote from side to side, which shifts the level, not the ball itself. Not exactly taxing now, is it? That said, there are multiple paths that the ball may take, and timing your shifts just right is a major factor in how successful you’ll be at guiding the ball to the goal.
There’s something to be said for simplicity, and Equilibrio
definitely has the key ingredient down
Part of the depth that lies within, is the fact that the balls you’re guiding throughout the levels are made of various materials. For example, in some levels you’re asked to guide a ball made of paper through a level that has quite a few different jumps. Paper is obviously light, which as a result can make the ball jump quite a fair distance. Tilting the Wii remote too fast or too slow will often result in over or undershooting your target platform, which can result in a couple of different outcomes, such as landing in a pool of acid, or impaling the ball on a spike-filled wall. Conversely, you’ll also be asked to guide the much heavier iron ball through a level that may also have these jumps. There are pros and cons to each ball type, and really, it’s your job to tilt the environment in just the right way to max the benefits of each one.
If the Wii remote controls don’t necessarily appeal to you, there is an alternative option. Equilibrio can also use the Wii Fit’s Balance Board in order to shift the levels. For what it’s worth, this is the most appealing, and challenging way to play the game. Some have faulted the balance board for being too sensitive in past games, but Equilibrio seems to be able to hold its own with the peripheral and offer a balanced, experience that works well enough to recommend over the initial Wii remote setup. The basic premise is to simply shift your weight from foot to foot in an effort to tilt the environment. It might take a while for you to get the hang of it, but once you’ve got it down, this is an incredibly fun alternative to another tilt-fest of the Wii-mote.
Use the Wii Fit’s Balance Board to shift levels
Graphics & Sound
Unfortunately, for as much fun as Equilibrio packs in, it’s definitely lacking in the looks department. Levels consist of very little outside of different coloured panels, and green pools of "acid" that are scattered throughout the level. The ball itself isn’t detailed enough to tell one ball from the other. The only way you’ll know is by how each one controls. You are given the ball type before embarking on a level, true, but in case you miss it, you’ll eventually get the right feel.
The sound is serviceable, but nothing overly special. The music is catchy, but having to hear it repeated to no end can be a bit grating. The sound of the ball rolling throughout levels is a nice touch, but for the most part, there’s not much of anything sound-wise to speak of. This is a very minimalist game, however, so it definitely fits with the visual and gameplay styles.
There are a couple of different ways to enjoy Equilibrio. Conquest Mode is the primary single player mode, though there is also a challenge mode which throws in various restrictions and guidelines that need to be followed. While there are 64 levels available, neither one of these will make the title last more than a few hours. Thankfully, there’s quite a decent multiplayer offered. In multiplayer, you and a friend can compete in Conquest, race it out in Rally mode, or outscore a friend in Match mode. Rally and Match are nice draws here, as they take 5 courses and have you compete to either finish a map before your opponent, or outscore your friends. There are also a few "achievements" to earn throughout the game, which should milk a bit more value out of the game for all the completionists out there.
64 levels available
Equilibrio isn’t a game that will appeal to everyone. The lacking production values and overly simplistic controls will more than likely turn off people who have played the bigger names that share its premise. However, if you’re looking for a quirky and interesting title that utilizes balance board peripheral and does it right, for 500 Wii Points, you really can’t go wrong.
+ Simple, but fun gameplay
+ Price is nice.
+ Fun to play with friends.
- Although there are 64 levels, it’s still pretty short.
- Lacking in audio/visual thrills.
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Release Date : 2009/04/06
System : Nintendo Wii
Publisher : DK-Games
Category : Puzzle
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10