Intelligent Systems continues to be one of the most versatile internal development teams at Nintendo. The only real constant for their games is that they are always pretty good (and sometimes amazing).
Spotto!, for the DSiWare service, is just pretty good.
It starts off promisingly enough, though. When I loaded it up and noticed the ESRB warning for Cartoonish Violence, I thought, "What, do you step on somebody's feet, or something? The ESRB is out of control!" No, people. Spotto! is fucking hardcore. This game casts you as a bombirdier (that's a bird bombardier - a tiny fowl in military garb who lobs bombs at... things) who has to rescue the bird president's bird daughter by eliminating the (human?) ghosts that captured her. How do you accomplish that? How can you hope to combat the incorporeal, the already expired? By chucking fucking bombs right into their mouths, that's how. After which, you yell "Spotto!" and they literally explode into pieces. There's, like, 2 eye pieces, a couple mouth pieces, chunks of ghost body shrapnel everywhere... You get the idea. It seems like that might get old after a while, but you know what? It really doesn't.
The rest of the game feels like a modest, gravity-based variation of Trajectile. The main gameplay mechanic is correctly angling your bombs. As in Trajectile, touch-screen control is forced upon the player. In Spotto!, however, the controls won't cause frustrating misfires. They're just a bit cumbersome and unnecessary. There are obstacles to avoid/utilize to your advantage, a power-up or two, a handful of bosses, and, um... toilets. It's all quite clever and polished and satisfying (if not very challenging). But the fun doesn't last very long. Once you've completed the game's fifty-odd levels, you won't have much reason to come back. Expert Mode is basically the same game, but with less indication of where your bomb will land, and Survival Mode is yet another trip through the same levels, but in a score attack/see-how-far-you-can-make-it-with-no-continues context.
At the end of the day, my biggest takeaway from Spotto! was ghost gibs. Are a couple pleasant hours of gibbing ghosts worth your two dollars? That, consumer, is something that you will have to decide for yourself.
I just brought down the average score a bit, for the heck of it. I really would have given it the same score, but then that would have been a waste of my ability to wildly influence the average as one of the two people with the game in his collection.
Good review, I remember your early impressions of this and Aura Aura Climber were pretty good, and I'm happy I went with the more solid title, but I'll probably end up checking this out at some point - the price is definitely right.