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Review: Diggs: The Night Crawler

Sony’s Wonderbook peripheral is an interesting extension of the PlayStation Eye concept.  Diggs The Night Crawler brings some charming film noir themed game play to the platform, but doesn’t quite go far enough with the concept.

For those not in the know, the Wonderbook add on for the PS3 allows players, mostly the younger set, to unlock an interactive story book that uses the symbols in the book to trigger images and game play on the TV with movement detected by the PlayStaion Eye Camera.  It works well in a variety of light settings; however it works the best in a well lit room.

On the TV the games environments “sprout” from book placed open on the floor, this creates the play area with players interacting with either the book or directly with the graphics via the PlayStation Move controller or their hands.

Launched around September 2012 with the J.K. Rowling Book of Spells, immersing players in the world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts School for Witches and Wizards the Wonderbook has not seen a great deal of action since.

One title that caught my eye during the release of the Wonderbook was Diggs: The Night Crawler.  A fusion of film noir and nursery rhyme Diggs tells the titular tale of a worm-like (bookworm to be precise) gumshoe out to solve the mystery murder of Humpty Dumpty.

The presentation of this crafted tale from developer SCE London and Moonbot Interactive (an Acadamy award winning studio) is top notch with lots of fun atmosphere generated throughout the length of the experience.

This game rated as suitable for ages 7+ and is a perfect parent/child cooperative experience, playing through with my 11 year old daughter took around three hours, and during the break half way through all she could talk about was when we would get back to the game.

Game-play consists of turning the page to move between chapters and manipulating the book in a variety of ways to help Diggs solve the crime.

According to my tester, the favourite bits of the game were tilting the book to move the overhanging light to illuminate a suspicious part of Library City that Diggs should investigate.  The exercise of turning the book around to show the rear of a scene was also a particular favourite.

On the downside, my offspring tester was not fond of the mini games that required constant rotation of the Wonderbook, nor the fact that Diggs is very quick to point out exactly what a player should be doing to solve the current situation.  I am with her on that, perhaps a little more player discovery would have been nice despite the age classification.

There are plenty of mini-games within the structure of the story telling, these can become a little monotonous at times but generally are fun and run for just the right length of time.

It is a shame that more is not made of the Move motion controller in this game, I was hoping to see it used in a more dynamic way, perhaps as a flashlight searching through the locations in the game, instead it is only implemented for recording video of the game as it progresses.

Diggs: The Night Crawler gets the thumbs up from my tester who found the game unique and funny with plenty to enjoy in a compact time frame.


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Mike Bantick

joomla visitor

Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.