For a good while now, mobile phone gamers have been enjoying the simple but addictive puzzle game, To-Fu: The Trials of Chi, along with its sequel, To-Fu 2. Now, those of us who don’t play much on our phones can have a chance to play through these hit titles as Rising Star Games has crammed both onto one DS cartridge. Behold:To-Fu Collection!
The story line of this game, such as it is, revolves around a chunk of anthropomorphic tofu who desires to be a master of chi. To do this, he must traverse over one hundred levels of increasing complexity. Every level includes different challenges and an evolving rotation of environmental hazards, such as spike walls, ice walls, portals and conveyor belts – just to name a few. Levels are filled with a number of blue orbs which you can collect to unlock an impressive number of rewards, including bonus levels and different costumes. Collecting the chi orbs is not required to complete the level, but grabbing them all is addictive and adds a decent level of replay value.
You’ll finish the level once you’re able to fling To-Fu into a floating, pink kitty head. No, I’m not kidding. Stretching To-Fu and flinging him across the screen translates perfectly to the DS. The detection was spot-on, and I can only remember a handful of times in which I felt the game wasn’t responding accurately to my stylus. However, due to the age of my DS screen, I’m more inclined to cite that as the real issue, rather than the game itself.
I spent along time with this game and the first few hours consistently offered up new and interesting challenge, but after a while, repetition began to set in. I suppose it’s the nature of mobile games to be designed for bite sized gaming sessions (no pun intended) but when I sit down with my DS, I like to be able to sink some time into it. To-Fu Collection certainly offered enough content to fill that time, though the lack of variety often left me feeling frustrated and longing for a change in the formula. Despite its fun and solid gameplay, you’ve really seen all the game has to offer after the first twenty levels. However, if you’re a huge fan of the core mechanics, you’ll be happy to know that the game features over two hundred levels to complete. Unfortunately, To-Fu 2 is largely the same as its predecessor, furthering that sense of repetition across both games.
A handful of bonus levels can be unlocked and To-Fu Collection even takes a page out of the Angry Birds playbook by offering some seasonal based levels. These extra levels largely boil down to cosmetic differences, such as the Halloween levels replacing the chi orbs with floating jack-o-lanterns.
All in all, I really enjoyed my time with To-Fu Collection. Its stretching and flinging mechanic was simple and fun, the level design was challenging, and the “pick-up & play” experience was executed solidly. The game makes a perfect leap from the phone screen to the DS screen and it is well suited for short bursts of gaming. If you’re looking for a fun and challenging puzzler to pass the time while waiting for your pizza, you can certainly do worse.