Downloadable for £1.99 via PSN, we're not sure LocoRoco Cocoreccho is a game at all. Sony has called it an interactive screen saver, but we'd say it's more like Lemmings, except without the danger, so you can just put the controller down and trip out, if you were so inclined.
Fans of the first LocoRoco game on the PSP who were hoping for more of the same will be disappointed. In the original game you tilted the 2D world to guide small blobs, the LocoRocos, to the end of various stages and ultimately safety. In LocoRoco Cocoreccho, however, there's no titling of the game world. Instead you control a butterfly which emits a pulse that attracts the LocoRoco. Your goal is to wake up as many LocoRoco as possible (there are 200 in total), then, once you have the required LocoRoco count that the various gates require, lead them into other parts of the game's single, but sprawling, level.
The controls are as simple you'd expect, and cleverly make use of the Sixaxis pad's tilting technology. You can tilt platforms, flick pinball-esque flippers and shake sleeping LocoRoco from branches all by going mental with the PS3 pad. You hold down 'O' to make them follow the butterfly, or tap it repeatedly to make them jump higher, which is usually used to touch pulsing red ends of branches which then uncurl to reveal new areas. LocoRoco of the same colour will merge to form bigger LocoRoco, wind will sweep them up and carry them across open spaces, and there's even a boss fight of sorts with those black dread-locked things towards the end of the level. And that's about it really. You're more of a guiding force than an all-powerful god. LocoRoco Cocoreccho isn't supposed to get your heart racing or induce panic. You're better off playing it when you fancy some calm, therapeutic Japanese madness. Take it too seriously, which we did at the start, and you'll just end up hating the little critters, and that's a very bad thing indeed.
It's got a gorgeous graphical charm, just like the PSP original, which fits perfectly with the cutesy Japanese vibe of the game. The vegetation looks like it's having as good a time as the LocoRoco. Gusts of air whisk them away on mind-bending rollercoaster rides towards opposite sides of the map, and the underbelly of the giant black monster brings to mind classic Japanese animated movie Spirited Away. Without actually noticing it, you really do feel like you've stumbled upon a lost chapter from Lewis Caroll's Alice in Wonderland. It's nuts of course, but lovably nuts.
It's got more depth than you first think too. The game's manual tells you to shake the Sixasis all over the place, and more often than not doing so will have some sort of effect on the environment and help reveal more LocoRoco. You don't have to do this to get to the end of the level, but if you want to score highly on the online leaderboards you'll need to replay the game's only level until you do. We're not hugely motivated to do so, but for under two quid, half-an-hour's worth of fun and that nutty music is probably worth it.
So why has it been described as an interactive screen saver? Perhaps because unlike the PSP game there's no real threat to the LocoRocos. You can put the Sixasis controller down at any point and they will just amble about without really doing much. We're not sure how appealing this is really and why do you need a screen saver for a console anyway? If a game isn't running on a console it's usually turned off to save on electricity. Consoles aren't PCs (yet!).
As a game, we preferred the original LocoRoco, but at £1.99 what you get is amazing value. LocoRoco Cocoreccho will have a great time, with or without you.