Originally posted November 8th 2015 on the Seafoam Gaming forums
Thanks to SmileBoom for the review code.
System: Nintendo 3DS (eShop)
Release date: 10/15/2015
The main game/story
Similar to KORG from last year, this is an application that has a heavy focus on user creation. Therefore, to call it a game isn’t really something I can do, as while you CAN make games in this app, it’s mostly meant to encourage user creation via the BASIC programming language.
When you start up the game, you will be presented with a nice variety of options. You can choose to play the default sample games to see the possibilities of what can be created in this app, go to the internet browser link to study your BASIC skills if you are interested in teaching yourself the language, (although like with any programming language it’ll take a lot of practice) head to the online servers to download any interesting programs you saw on the internet by entering a special code, checking out the SmileBASIC Gold program (a paid service that expands how much you can upload to the server), and last but not least, entering the program menu. Compared to the rather confusing menus of the DSi installment, Petit Computer, this is a major improvement, and in no time I was able to hop online to download a couple cool programs I saw from the Japanese community for this game. You can even set up folders to store programs in for easy access, and while this is definitely not a perfect organization, it gets the job done well, and for those who are more interested in playing creations made by other programmers, it’s very simple and easy to use.
To be brutally honest, like the KORG review this overall review will be short considering the application we are looking at, since your experience with the controls and gameplay will vary depending on what you create or download. So, to give a better perspective on what you’d see from the beginning, you can either use the knowledge from the manual and the official website to create your own programs, but depending on your knowledge of the language your results in the quality of those programs will vary. Luckily unlike Petit Computer, downloading programs from other users is very easy, as all you need is an internet connection and their program’s special code in order to download it from Smileboom’s servers. This essentially means that if the community works together you’ll be able to get infinite replay value of all genres of video games out there, from text adventures, platformers, puzzle games, etc. Also unlike the days of Petit Computer where you’d have to scan in a ton of QR codes just to get one program, all you need to do for SmileBASIC is download and wait for it to finish. To start off, I recommend going to the Miiverse Communities for SmileBasic, both the North American and the Japanese communities, as there you can find plenty of programs to try out.
In terms of what sort of limits this program has? Well, to be honest it’s quite impressive. Out of the programs online that I’ve tried, I found that you can incorporate the Circle Pad Pro/N3DS C-stick into your programs, use the touch screen, and even do local wireless. Yes, that’s right, you can even make your own wireless multiplayer games with folks who have their own copy of SmileBASIC! While I’m not good enough to make anything remarkable, I still had fun checking out the projects this community has created already, and since it seems that folks who’ve played the game since its Japanese launch last year have really enjoyed it, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some remarkable creations come from this application, not unlike what people did with Petit Computer.
In conclusion, SmileBASIC is an application that will vary greatly depending on your preferences with the BASIC language. Therefore, I can’t really give it a score due to the fact that the quality of the app depends on the quality of the programs you download or create. That being said, I can assure you that this application is definitely worth the $9.99 price point for the ability to play creations from the internet alone, and I’m sure if we give it time, especially with a Wii U version on the way in the future, we’ll have a wonderful community showing us what great things the BASIC programming language can do. Keep an eye out on the community and decide for yourselves!
Just for fun, I decided to make a simple greeting message in this program. I think it worked out OK, but if you want to see for yourself, the public key to SEAFOAMTHANKS is Y3K3NX31 for SmileBASIC