Part Time UFO

Part Time UFO Coming to Switch

Nintendo have just published Part Time UFO on the Nintendo Switch eShop, developed by HAL Laboratory, of Kirby series fame!

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Hataraku UFO review

HAL Laboratory’s first smartphone game sees you control UFO-kun who crashes to earth where various work awaits you. Your first assignment is to help a farmer put oranges back into his truck, who whilst on the way to market, crashes himself (as a result of seeing a UFO no-less). Hataraku UFO is essentially a crane game, not unlike Collectible Badge Center, although that simplification doesn’t exactly do little UFO-kun justice.

Picking up the oranges and crates seems easy enough although the difficulty curve soon increases to moving objects (helping a fisherman capture fish). Three levels are unlocked at anyone time with five medals needed to unlock the next set of three. For example on the first stage you can earn medals by: completing within the time-limit, placing both crates the right way up and placing the loose oranges into the basket. 

Players also earn coins (as well as the medals) from completing tasks, which can be used for both costumes and enhancements for UFO-kun with a catwalk to show off your outfits! The graphical style is relatively simple but oozes charm with the soundtrack absolutely stunning. The game is all in Japanese, although each stage’s objectives are pretty self-explanatory, so little or no language understanding is required.

Hataraku UFO really brings to mind Rhythm Heaven in the pure wackiness of some of the level designs: one favourite sees an elephant riding a unicycle on a tightrope whilst holding a platform. What to do next but balance FIVE animals (two tortoises, a guinea pig, doggie and horse), all of different sizes, onto both the platform AND the elephant! 

Conclusion

Hataruku UFO has a one-off price-point of ¥480 ($4.3) with no in-app purchases necessary. Repetition may well creep in, but not until several hours of pure fun for the player reminiscent of the likes of Rhythm Hunter and WarioWare, and whilst introducing a new mascot (UFO-kun) following perfectly in the footsteps of both Kirby and Qbby. 

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