by Gern Blaith
FAL News Service
Milton Bradley Interactive
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If you're a fan of Twister and are excited that the VR game might be something new and different, don't get your hopes up.
I was ecstatic when I heard they were going to make Twister VR for the Mac, and I waited anxiously for months. I set myself up for a big disappointment. The game shows its true colors right when you turn it on - you're greeted by no intro and a lackluster music score. I was not to be deterred, though - I was determined to be a fan. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. The gameplay was weak and for a second, I had to look to make sure I wasn't playing a Sega Genesis.
There are five modes of play in Twister VR: arcade, time trial, challenge, practice mode and homoerotic. The different modes of play have different parameters and rules. At first you have eight human bodies to twist with, but after completion of the game or use of a cheat code you can select from eight animal bodies as well. There are three levels of difficulty to choose from, cutely named Charley-horse, Cramp, and Traction.
The controls are so loose that if another player falls into you, you end up slamming off the side of the level. The hernia option doesn't seem to affect your flexibility as much as it should, and the doublejointed players don't seem to give you much of an edge either.
Don't even get me started on the spinner!
Twister VR turns out to be the same old thing in a different package, and is by far one of the worst MB nonmaterial games I've played since Candyland.
LEARNING CURVE: About 11 hours
It took me eighty-six levels to master the controls - and I was ready to turn it off. But I tried again. I tried several other levels in practice mode. They all sucked.
"Sluggish" is a good word to describe the gameplay. You have to control the balance of the body, as well as step on the color. It's extremely tedious - so tedious, in fact, that after a level or two you will be reaching for the power switch.
The graphics seem to be the only saving grace for this game... and those aren't so great either.
Visually, Twister VR is a mess. The eighty-nine levels to twist on are all incredibly similar. Most of the screen is simply barren land and sky, and your balls are always the same color. The sweat spray that comes off the body when twisting looks like it consists of two frames of animation. Not once did I ever feel off-balance or as if I was really exerting myself in any way. Perhaps a first-person POV would have been more effective. And to top it all off, the frame rate is pretty sluggish.
Even the sound in Twister VR is annoying. The constant humming of the hovering colored balls, accompanied by the irritating announcer commentary, will prompt you to go into the audio options menu and turn it off. The grunts and the joint-popping sounds were horrible. I can't describe the noises I heard, but they definitely weren't those of people playing Twister. As for the music, it faded out immediately.
Twister VR has too many problems. It looks bad, sounds bad, and plays bad. There simply isn't a good side to this title. It seems to have been designed as an afterthought. Mac owners, MB game fans, and everyone else should just skip Twister VR.
Speaking of towels, I need one right about now. They'll be coming any minute with towels and the pills. Yes, the pills. Then I see the rainbows.
Mmmm. I could really go for a Big Mac...