Yo-kai Watch is an original 3DS game that has won a legion of fans since its launch in the west in 2015. Now it's time for Level-5 monsters to break into smartphones and tablets from Europe and Latin America with Yo-kai Watch. : Wibble Wobble, for iOS and Android.
In the plot, the boy Nate and his friends usually hunt insects in the forest. One day, Nate was challenged to collect several rare insects and decided to venture into the forest alone. Finding a very strange candy vending machine, like every curious child, decided to put the contraption to work. From there came something like a pokeball that, upon opening, revealed a spirit butler named Whisper. The spirit has given you a watch that makes you able to see and fight the Yo-kais in the world. The similarities with Pokémon and Digimon end there, and the game later demonstrates a lot of identity.
A children's game, but not so much
Yo-kai Watch: Wibble Wobble mixes puzzles and role-playing games and, in addition to Nintendo's handheld games, also features anime and manga. All franchise products are focused on children. But what the hell are the Yo-kais? They are invisible beings that cause everyday problems, in a simpler description.
How does this game work? Essentially, you slide your finger joining several equal Yo-kais to form a big guy and then throw it against the opponent. Although the gameplay is not complicated, Yo-kai Watch: Wibble Wobble has some concepts to understand, such as making combos by joining characters and creating a giant Yo-kai and using super powers. Initially, Yo-kais only attack from time to time and the difficulty is more in making large combos. The enemies we fight against can become friends and later join our fighting team. Knowing how to properly exchange them for battle and understanding the concepts of levels that each character is acquiring is essential to evolve in the game.
One of the game's strengths is its localization into Portuguese. Level-5 did a great job when it decided to bring Yo-kai Watch: Wibble Wobb to Latin America with translations into our language and Spanish. The names of the Yo-kais were also well localized: we have Jururu, Cigarinja, Lick-Lick, Avoado, Fofucho, Dragoncio, Quiet and so on… The voiceovers are great too, with fun voices that fit well into the characters and have perfect timing with the soundtrack. But the track is extremely repetitive, despite the fun and perfect sound to please the little ones.
True to the original series
Yo-kai Watch: Wibble Wobble is a mobile version of the Yo-kai series, produced by Level-5 in partnership with NHN PlayArt. The title has very beautiful animations and the Yo-kais are identical to the 3DS version, which makes it a game that really complements the series and appeals to fans. The title differs in its gameplay adapted to smartphones and tablets, but retains the same essence of fighting Yo-kais.
In the main campaign, you always fight more than one Yo-kai. I thought it rocked my fast fingers in the game, but soon realized it was only in the single player campaign. At events I was nothing, just spending my hard-earned coin collection continuing the battles in which I had lost. The game also offers an overall ranking for you to compete for the best score.
Because it is a free game, there is a limitation: to battle you have to waste your spirits and your phone always warns you when your spirit meter is full. Each spirit takes 15 minutes to regenerate. You earn coins with every battle you can use to try to win Yo-kai on the prize machine (Crank-a-kai) or continue a battle where your life meter has reached zero.
I definitely don't like this “free” formula common to mobile games in the current generation. I would rather pay to have the full game than buy coins. At more advanced levels, coins begin to become necessary and you earn very few by winning battles. This turns the game into an endless repetition of past levels just to collect a few pennies and try to beat some Yo-kai again.