The second dating game to come out for Nintendo DS (already?!) tries its best to get you sprung. That's kind of gross.
I don't know about you, but I think dating sucks, especially because I go on a TON of first dates. My life just winds up being all about first impressions, restaurants, dinner bills, bad matches, drama, and head games. Finding that special someone can be a real pain in the @$$, which is why it boggles me as to why Ubisoft and developer Gameloft chose to remind us of that fact with Sprung for the Nintendo DS, an annoying little dating sim that only proves that games like it don't belong in the U.S.
The goal in Sprung is to successfully make your way through the game's 50 plus dating scenarios by choosing the correct responses to various questions. It's one huge conversation tree game, with the person you're talking to displayed on the top Nintendo DS screen and you on the bottom.
Also on the bottom are lists of things to say, and you can make your selections with either the system's face buttons or by just touching the screen. There's both a male and female campaign, so you get to see things from various perspectives.
To its credit, Sprung is quite lengthy and involving. Snow Bird Mountain (the ski resort where the game takes place) is full of drama and as a result you'll need some slick words to make it past the game's various situations. These range from hooking up your friend with a playboy, getting ready for a date (by actually figuring out the order in which makeup is applied), seeing how many phone numbers you can get, and smooth-talking your way into an exclusive party, among other scenarios. Say the right things and you'll advance, but screw up sometimes just once and it's right back to the beginning.
That's really the biggest problem with the game. Much like a first date, Sprung is all about trial and error, and if you play your cards right you'll succeed, but not before having to rewind and reread the same damn conversations again and again.
It's all right if you're a super dating genius and know all of the right answers, but I'm not, so having to watch the same scenes just drove me nutty, especially when saying something that really shouldn't be considered offensive resulted in failure while something equally stupid kept me in the game. There's no proper sense of balance.
Even though its gameplay is pretty whack Sprung is at the very least visually appealing. All of the 2D characters appear to be hand drawn, and every time they exchange responses they move around and the animation is quite impressive.
Sprung is the ultimate bad date gone worse! It's so beyond boring that if it was an actual date I would excuse myself from the dinner table and never return, meaning Ubisoft would get stuck with the bill, which I happen to think is appropriate. If you're going to test the American market by releasing a dating game (considering you'd need to make one heck of a first impression), at the very least it should be a good one.
What's Hot: It looks very nice, with a slick 2D animated style to it.
What's Not: This is one date that you'll be wishing to get out of... it's a bore.