Tech-Less Mom: Tackling the Tutorial in Wondershot

Posted by | March 15, 2016 | Feature, Opinion, PlayStation 4 | No Comments
wondershot

When you’ve been married for 12 years, there are few things you can do besides murdering your partner in their sleep (gotcha!) that will surprise them. Which is why it was so satisfying to say to my husband, after he told me that I would hate Wondershot, that, in fact, I liked it quite a bit. Because I am still a delicate mystery, an onion with many layers, and will you please bring me a roll of paper towels because we ran out of toilet paper and I forgot to go to the store.

See? Mystery.

This month, Pixelkin asked me to review Wondershot, a game which, I learned, is a big deal in the indie gaming world, having won the Game To Play award at Indie Games Play 2015. The reviews I read said that it was a great “couch co-op” game. I don’t know what this means, because to me a “couch co-op” sounds like a rental plan for hobos. I do like couches, though, and I liked that this game was supposed to be great for families to play together. So I let my kids have at it, and then one afternoon I sat down with my 8-year-old son, who took me through it.

Being the understanding soul that he is, my son got me started with the tutorial. I deeply appreciate tutorials, but if I had not had my son teaching me how to do the tutorial I would have been lost. Knowing that you are the type of person who can’t follow a beginner’s tutorial takes a certain amount of maturity, and I have that maturity in spades. If you tell me to press X to shoot my arrow at the target, but you don’t tell me that if I miss I have to go run into the arrow in order to pick it up, then I will run around in circles with an empty bow forever. How my children figure this kind of thing out, I have no idea.

In the tutorials, with my son’s help, I learned how to use each of the four weapons: the slingshot, the bow and arrow, the hammer, and the boomerang. Each weapon does its own special things in its own special ways, but few require much more than pressing the X button. I decided to go one player and do some of the challenges in Adventure mode.

The game is mostly about aiming at targets — you need timing and the ability to bank shots off angles in the right way. Turns out I am not half bad at that — I was killing it on some of the early levels. But then you get to the levels that have monsters, and that’s where my luck started to run out. I do poorly when I’m being timed or chased by monsters, when it’s both I do especially badly. So those parts weren’t my favorite, but the first levels where it’s just complicated aiming were tons of fun. I loved the challenge of trying to fire shots at just the right time and at just the right angle. My son, however, loved the levels where there are red devil monsters trying to, as he put it, “grappling hook me and then punch me in the face.” To each his own.

Wondershot is a really fun game and it’s tons of fun to play with kids. Make sure you play with the sound on, though — the music is lots of fun, and the little voice that shouts, “Victory!” and “Let’s fight!” makes me so happy that I want it to be my new ringtone.

Meredith Bland

About Meredith Bland

Meredith Bland is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Brain, Mother; Narratively; Blogher; Time; and Parentmap among others. She also writes at her humor blog, Pile of Babies.