System: Nintendo Switch Released: Thursday 25th March 2021
Developer: Didactoons, Artax Games Publisher: Artax Games
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch.
Age recommended: 6 Years +
A massive thank you to Katie Barclay at Howl Games, for the chance to review this title!
Coming off of the heels of the successful Math Land game which was released on Nintendo Switch back in February of 2020, Didactoons quickly started development on BodyQuest. The team wanted a move from maths to a project that promoted learning around the human body. And thus, BodyQuest was formed. BodyQuest mixes explorative gameplay with real science to build a better understanding of the human body. Cleverly combining educational learning whilst battling bad bacteria and mowing down mucus across platforming levels packed full of knowledge-based quizzes and puzzles.
Developed with Unity 3D, game content was naturally affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The team chose to modify some of the body system levels and content. The respiratory system level in particular was empathetically reviewed to reflect what was happening in the real world.
Didactoons conducted exhaustive research on natural science, educational content, and how to approach subject matters. The hardest decision for the team centered around which systems to include and how medical topics could be tenderly delivered to children and families. Big thanks go to the medical team at the Madrid Hospital who were kind to help with advice on medical matters.
Jesus Luengo Rico of Artax Games said “We are very proud to have worked again with Didactoons on BodyQuest. It has been such a difficult time for the world. This pandemic has certainly shown us the importance of family and the Doctors and Nurses who work tirelessly to look after us. We are proud that our game tackles tricky medical subjects that can make some people squeamish! It’s important to do this in a sensitive way but be medically accurate whilst overall raising awareness. Releasing games that help children and families learn while having fun is important to us. It isn’t just about knowing where your kidney or your gallbladder is... It’s about learning what they do and how to look after your body.”
When an unfamiliar infection arrives from outer space, no one is safe. Especially your best friend Finn. As Finn falls sick, it is your job to create a cure to save him and humankind. You are able to choose from one of four characters, all young scientists and doctors who hold key information on specific areas of the human body. Packed with their specialist knowledge powers and latest nanotechnology you enter Finn’s body in miniature form on the biggest mission of not only your life but his too.
The human body can be a dangerous place and you quickly find this out for yourself as you negotiate through 25 fleshy levels featuring sticky walled organs, tonsils, and stomach linings. Slide on your futuristic nanoskate to collect red and white blood cells and navigate neurons. Hurtle through heart chambers and fly amongst intestinal flora. Every level includes entertaining nanobot challenges. Solve these science-based puzzles to unlock parts of the cure that will help to heal Finn. Progression through levels introduces players to an assortment of topics from different foods to the senses and healthy habits; plus how every structure inside our bodies plays such an essential role.
BodyQuest is separated into 5 areas that you will need to navigate to save Finn. These are Musculoskeletal, Digestive, Respiratory, Nervous, and Circulatory. Each area has 5 levels within to explore and each has its own puzzles and enemies to conquer which adds up to varied experiences per level and a game that does not begin to feel too repetitive too quickly. The basis of every level is to navigate around the hazards and enemies to reach your robotic ally who will either provide you with the key to finish the level, or a nano tool needed to reach the end and thus aiding Finn in his eventual recovery. To access this key or tool, however, you need to answer 5 questions on the given area you are in and this is where the educational aspect of the title comes in to play, with facts given through items collected and also displayed between each level to help the player answer these questions correctly. Throughout the level, you collect necessary items to progress as well as collectible items, that provide further learning through factoids. You can also customize your board, nano tool, and accessories for your character, further adding to the need to collect every item in every level for a true sense of completion
Every level in BodyQuest is filled with puzzles, enemies, and obstacles to overcome that keep you on your toes throughout and are layered to relate to the section you are currently playing through. So for instance in the Musculoskeletal section, the levels will include collecting calcium to help fix bone fractures along with fixing bone bridges to further explore the level.
The controls are kept incredibly simple, with the analog stick used to traverse the level on your nanoskate, the A button to use the nanotool to fix and access certain items, and the B button turning your nanotool into a weapon to defeat the enemies found within the stage. To aid you in your quest you have 3 hearts, taking damage results in the loss of a heart and once you lose all three hearts, you are sent back to the last level checkpoint that you have accessed. No level ever feels too complex or too difficult and with timing, careful thought, and exploration, any level can be completed in mere minutes. The questions found in each level to access the key or tool needed to finish the level, are varied but are not too challenging although even at 32, one or two did nearly trip me up.
Overall, BodyQuest was an enjoyable playthrough. I had the luck of being assisted in my review by my 7-year-old son so I was able to review this through the eyes of a seasoned gamer such as myself and through the eyes of the intended target audience. Both me and my son enjoyed the game and my son was happy to keep going and going and along with enjoying each level, learned a few things through the aforementioned facts and collectible items. For me as a father, I would happily plant my son in front of this game and let him go nuts as this game was not only enjoyable but educational.
I give this game an 8 out of 10. It is enjoyable, educational, and with both a 32-year-old and a 7-year-old enjoying this, you can't go wrong. My only points against this game are that BodyQuest can be beaten within a few hours, and can descend into feeling repetitive after only a few levels. Unfortunately, there isn't really anything to get you to come back again after completion, as the questions and puzzles in each level are exactly the same through each playthrough and the customizable items do not affect gameplay in any way and are purely cosmetic. Again, however, this is still a fun learning experience and one I highly recommend for any parent worried about what games their children are playing.
BodyQuest can be purchased from the Nintendo EShop from Thursday the 25th March 2021.
Are you planning on playing BodyQuest? If so, please let us know below!
Thank you for joining me today and I hope you enjoyed this review but for now, Aaron out!