“Get ready to embark on the world’s largest treasure hunt”
Technology rules over story and character in this “traveling” adventure/collection game which features Wi-Fi “hotspot” scanning in the real world to attain various items (over 2,600 in all), extras, and overall status.
The basic story is simple while the various missions and collection opportunities are most definitely not. The space traveling professor-like character Star Sweep and his partner Wish Finder (check the first two letters of each name there) have crashed on Earth and need to return home. They need the player's assistance in acquiring essential pieces for this goal, including currency, fuel, and other resources.
Each treasure item contains a musical sound, which comprise the song arrangements (a.k.a. songscapes) on the ground. Players can choose from 150 song templates. This game needs a large note option palette where players could test each note or even play through and map out an arrangement like a keyboard before arranging each item. This addition would boost the music gameplay and reduce composition time. The template teaches some basic composition methods and promotes creativity through musical tone and item recognition, but can get tedious.
Wish Finder also doubles as an avatar who requires disguises. Costume choices, including 100 character theme sets, are complimented by movements and even some dialogue. Other characters who stumble across this special world (someone’s bound to hear all that music) would be great additions to the game. Some visiting characters could also give players hints or even rearrange a garden section as a sample template piece then let the player finish the creation though players can find and/or purchase original and public domain songs.
Players must “sweep the stars” using the scope to collect items in the Wi-Fi gameplay mode. Each Wi-Fi hotspot found yields the actual hotspot name and item in the game's name. Each hotspot only yields game items once, an obvious prompt for players to get out there and get some items to reach specific resource/mission goals. Players cannot actually access the hotspots in this game, so hotspot holders can breathe easy while players can harvest to their heart’s content.
Since the real world becomes a playing field, some minor safety issues and guidelines arise in the game. Common sense guidelines include closing the console lid when walking (or driving) in areas. Automatic saves ensures no lost progress though players only get one save profile.
Overall, the game is fairly easy to play, though populating treasure worlds requires some strategy and guidelines. Players can make their treasure worlds simple or complex with landmarks, flowers, statues, and holiday pieces and use Stardust currency for additional treasure purchases (one can save Stardust funds by purchasing during a full moon).
Players can also connect to Club Treasure World for several supplementary activities. Players can share 12 digit friend codes, trade treasures (locally or online), upload saved data (website membership required), view leader boards, use additional tutorials, and participate in player polls. Website account options include player communication restrictions (ideal for parents).
The real world game elements include some very practical applications. For example, small communities could map out community Wi-Fi areas. A three person team (driver, mapper, and data recorder) could also do some geo caching games. The website features a special pin map for players too. All in all, a quality experience for an affordable $29.99.
Treasure World is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB.