|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
Invizimals is a PlayStation Portable augmented reality collectible creature video game developed by Novarama, and published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. It is the first entry in the Invizimals series, and was bundled with the PSP's camera attachment at launch.
The gameplay of Invizimals has been compared to the Pokémon series, involving players capturing and raising different species of creatures, and allowing the player to battle with them, either against an AI or with others using the PSP's wireless abilities. Unlike Pokémon however, Invizimals requires the player to hunt and capture these creatures within the real world, using the concept of augmented reality, a camera attachment for the PlayStation Portable, and a physical "trap" square-shaped device used as a fiduciary marker. These monsters are spawned at different environments (determined by colors of surfaces and time of day), and the trap is used to capture the monsters. Once captured, players are able to raise and level their monsters, and allow them to learn different attacks that can be used in battle. Players can also use the trap to view their monsters, and take pictures of their collection.
The story follows Kenichi Nakamura, a researcher at PSP R&D in Tokyo. He is the Invizimals' discoverer and the player's mentor during the course of the game. Along the way, the player will meet Professor Dawson (played by Brian Blessed), who is another mentor for the player. He teaches the player special attacks like VECTORS and SUPERATTACKS. There are enemies you will meet during the game. Kaminsky is the person who hacked into the PSP R&D research labs to steal the Invizimal technology. The player will eventually confront him in a battle near the end of the game. Kaminsky is employed by Sir Sebastian Campbell, a most recognized character in the story who befriends the player, but has his own interests as well.
The player will be able to collect 100+ invizimals during the course of the game. Each Invizimal has different attacks, powers, and skills. The player can level up their Invizimals by collecting "Watts". The higher the level, the stronger the Invizimal. The Invizimal world has 6 different elements: Fire, Water, Earth (rock), Forest (jungle), Ice and Desert. Just like Pokémon, each element has different strengths and weaknesses the player needs to discover. Finally, the player needs to collect sparks, orb-like items that can be used to purchase power-ups in game stores.
Elementals are based on the Elements of Invizimals. Fire, Ice, Rock, Ocean, Desert and Jungle.
These are one of the most powerful vectors in the game (Meteor Strike is strongest). Use Elementals wisely, they cost 50 sparks each. Here is what they look like and what they do:
- Fire: A giant fire ghost comes out of the ground and slaps the opponent, works best with Jungle types.
- Ice: A flying eagle-like spirit jumps out of the trap and dives into the enemy, works best with Fire types.
- Rock: A giant rock monster climbs out of the ground and punches the opponent, works best with Ice types
- Ocean: A giant water-creature lunges down and squishes Invizimals with its belly, works best with Rock types.
- Desert: A giant sand ghost comes out of the trap and turns into a cyclone making other Invizimals lose health, works best with Ocean types.
- Jungle: A tree comes out fully grown from an acorn, bites the enemy and transforms back into an acorn, works best with Desert types.
- Mutant: Mutated Invizimals which are stronger and harder to find.
Throughout the game, the player has to capture Invizimals to move on to the next mission. Each Invizimal has its own, unique attacks which only they can use. Each attack has its own property (see Scope section). Also, each Invizimal has to be captured in a different way, even though some are the same. This can range from flying the Invizimal through a storm, or just scaring it out of its skin. Plus, while the player is "powering" the trap, the player can find really rare Mutant Invizimals. These can come in different colours and skills to their ordinary Invizimal counterparts.
This game also includes a lot of "secret invizimals" which have to be captured by playing on ad-hoc or infrastructure. There is also some invizimals that can be captured with secret traps only. This can be invizimals like Tigershark, Venonweb or Moby. These secret invizimals can be found on the internet on sites like: secretinvizimals.com but there are others too.
Awards and reception
Invizimals received mixed to positive reviews. Metacritic's average score is 69 out of 100. The most negative review was from Game Revolution with a score of 25 out of 100 "Invizimals really wants to be Pokémon, but takes away everything that was great about it."
The game received numerous awards, among which:
- Special Achievement for Innovation, IGN.com Best of E3 2009, winner.
- Special Achievement for Technological Excellence, IGN.com Best of E3 2009, winner.
- Game of the Show, IGN.com Best of E3 2009, runner-up, lost to LittleBigPlanet.
- Best New Gameplay Mechanic, Kotaku Best of E3 2009, runner-up, lost to Scribblenauts.
- Best PSP Game, Kotaku Best of E3 2010, runner-up, lost to God of War: Ghost of Sparta.
- Ciutat de Barcelona Award 2009 in the category of Technical Innovation, awarded from the city's Mayor Office to individuals and companies with outstanding contributions to the culture of the city of Barcelona.
- El Duende cultural magazine award. Category: Technology and Video games.
- Spanish National Videogame Awards 2010. Best Technology.
- Spanish National Videogame Awards 2010. Best Overall Game.
- "InviZimals Games Games & Media - PlayStation.com".
- McWhertor, Michael (June 4, 2009). "Eyes On With Invizimals: When Pokemon Meets Ghostbusters". Kotaku. Retrieved 2009-06-04.
- Miller, Greg (June 4, 2009). "E3 2009: Invizimals First Look". IGN. Retrieved 2009-06-04.
- "IGN: Best of E3 2009. Playstation Portable". IGN.
- Crecente, Brian. "Kotaku: Best of E3 2009.". Kotaku.
- Crecente, Brian. "Kotaku: Best of E3 2010.". Kotaku.
- "Ciutat de Barcelona Awards, official designation in Catalan". Mayor Office of Barcelona.