Face Raiders

Reviewed by Kyle Bell, Posted on 2011-04-03


Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: March 27, 2011 Available On: 3DS

Have you ever wanted to shoot a friend or family member in the face with a nonlethal ball gun? Face Raiders is a unique game from Nintendo for the 3DS handheld which allows you to take pictures of other people and then shoot their face with virtual balls. Itís a simple and creative concept that takes full advantage of the 3DSís main technical draws: gyroscope, camera and 3D gameplay.

As violent as shooting a face sounds, it is actually a playful game that doesnít take itself very seriously. After you take pictures of other people (or yourself with the inner camera), you can then crop the photo to ensure that their eyes and mouth align properly, as well as removing any non-facial background. The characters will then fly around in the game with their own comical expression.

Whenever you play a level the game will prompt you to take a fresh picture, although you can always choose previously used photos as well. When taking pictures it is important to be in a well-lit room, minimum background noise, and a straight posture, but donít let that prevent you from taking silly pics. The in-game facial recognition software is broken and usually only gets the gender right. It recognized a friend of mine as a male infant, which I guess may be accurate as far as intellect goes.

Keep in mind that when playing Face Raiders you will need to use your full body in 360-degree turns, so this is not the ideal game if you are seated in say an airplane or a bus (besides the people will think you are crazy). The game makes use of the 3DS gyroscope, which is basically the same concept as a Wii Remote. Turning the 3DS system will move the screen in the orientation that you are going. You aim by tilting the system, preferably when standing, with an icon telling you which direction enemies are coming from.

Which brings up the fact that the game does not have actual levels. Instead the camera is once again used and the room that you are in acts as the level. Pieces of the world break apart as your spinning faces attack you, revealing gaping holes of darkness in the room. This manipulation of video and the use of 3D playback on the screen can sometimes result in understandable slowdown for the 3DS hardware. Nonetheless, it holds up pretty well and does not get in the way of achieving your goals.

Face Raiders is a fun and unique experience. Taking photographs of friends, family, objects such as paintings, and yourself makes for good laughs. I am treating this game as if it were a download, since it is pre-installed system software. If it were a retail release it would not even come close to the standards that you expect for a $40 game, but as free software that would probably otherwise go for $5 as a download it gets the job done nicely. Great example of the systemís capabilities; just donít expect to play for an extended period of time.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 9.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 6.5
Final: 7.8 out of 10
Written by Kyle Bell Write a User Review

Reviewed by Kyle Bell