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|Everyone 10+ (ESRB)|
|Media Included||Wii U optical disc|
|Available Input|| Wii U gamepad|
|Max. amount of players||2|
BowieQuest is partially a tribute to old video games from the 16-bit era, featuring simplistic controls but challenging gameplay and somewhat cartoony emotion. While being a modern game, it takes hints of styling from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, the video game Toy Story, and Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and also has its soundtrack styled to be as fast and groovy as those featured in the older Sonic games, whom have served as inspiration for BowieQuest itself.
Wanting to reshape the landscape for his own purposes, the evil monkey overlord Endal assaulted the peaceful Western Forest and kicked all the teddy bears out of the forest, sending evil droids to stop all that dare intrude. The player must control Bowie, Ashe, and/or Flare and try to stop the evil monkey. Alternatively, they can choose to control Endal and stop Fangerine from controlling his own homeland, battling his own brainwashed robots as he goes.
BowieQuest, like its inspirational titles, is a 2D side-scrolling platformer. The objective is for the player to utilize the playable characters' abilities to their advantage and move around the levels in an effort to get from beginning to end, each character taking alternate paths with their different powers. As the players go, they will have to occasionally use their powers to destroy robots or move through tricky passageways, which are commonplace later in the game. The levels are designed to fully utilize the playable characters' powers, and the game encourages players to explore.
As the player moves around the action-packed levels, they will notice that there are several candies in the air. By collecting candies, the player will restore their health, which is a continuous health measurement system identical to that featured in Kirby Super Star and its remake. Every time the playable characters are hit, they'll lose a few candies and comically fall backwards. The candies can be picked up to restore just a bit of health, but disappear soon. If the player loses all health, their character loses a life and gets off the stage in often cartoon-ish manners.
Regardless of which character the player chooses, they'll have five lives, and when are all lost, the player receives a game over. Losing a life can be done in several ways, such as falling into a bottomless pit, losing all their health, getting crushed, and the like. When the player loses a life, they'll reset from the last Magic Post (checkpoint) they touched, and if they haven't touched one, they'll reset from the beginning of the level. If the player collects Special Peppermints, receives a score exceeding a multiple of 100,000, or gets a Platinum Medal on a level, they receive an extra life.
At the end of each long level, Endal will appear out of nowhere with one of his latest contraptions, donning a disguise fitting for the level. Making a maniacal laugh, Endal will move his machine around and try to destroy the teddy bears. Alternatively, if the player is playing as Endal, they will fight Fangerine instead. At times, a different boss might be in the player's way. Regardless of which boss it is, they have a health meter that must be brought down to zero, which can be done by exploiting and hitting weak spots on the bosses. In the middle of levels, the player will fight a sub-boss, which doesn't have much health.
A second player, if allowed in a file slot, can follow behind the primary player. The second player can choose between being any of the teddy bears that aren't already the lead. New gameplay opportunities open up when two players are involved: Bowie can grab players with his rope and launch them in other directions, Ashe can bounce under the main player can launch them very high up, and Flare can give the main player a running dash. Shall a secondary player fall too far behind the main player, they will instantly teleport to them via comical means. Endal cannot participate in multiplayer.
Bowie's gameplay is medium paced, and he has medium jumps. Bowie's level routes are about him taking very complex paths through levels, which require him to use his rope and spare badges carefully. His rope can be used to grab enemies, ledges, or suspension bars, and when the rope ties onto the latter of these, Bowie can swing from the bar. The rope has multiple uses, such as being able to be used as a zipline alternative, being able to support Bowie moving from wall to wall, and more. Bowie's spare badges can be used to cut thin obstacles or slice enemies, but they can also be stood on if they stick to the walls.
Ashe's gameplay is a bit slower, even though he moves faster than Bowie. This is because that one of Ashe's main gameplay mechanics is inflating himself with water so that he can break through thin platforms, bounce through enemies, or cross deadly hazards, although the water begins to leak out as he crosses such hazards. When Ashe is filled with water, he cannot take damage, but loses more of his watery defenses as he takes hits from foes. Ashe, using his strength, can also pick up and hurl enemies away from him, and in any direction, allowing him to get items that the other two bears can't. His level designs are around puzzles.
Flare's gameplay is faster than both Bowie and Ashe's. Her level routes are focused around her high speed and her multiple jumps. While she can navigate hazardous paths the fastest, she has the most dangerous obstacles, and her health is somewhat shorter than that of Bowie's and Ashe's. Flare also has a rope, like Bowie, but it's somewhat shorter and it's supposed to help save her if her jumps aren't enough to get atop ledges, and has no real offensive use. Using her fiery jump powers, Flare can burst through ice walls and burn wood, which allows her to take paths unique to her.
Endal has medium paced gameplay, much like Bowie, and has some of the same level structures. However, Endal is the only one who can move Psychic Blockades, and beyond those are the trickiest and most difficult puzzles. Endal's own tail replaces Bowie's rope, and Endal can levitate for a short time through the air. In Endal's gameplay, he can enter his boss machines at times and blast through puzzles that normally the other teddy bears would have to go through, and can use the attacks and functions of those bosses as well. When he fights Fangerine, her bosses are "girly" recolors of his own.
|Chalky Station||The first stage of the game. Chalky Station is an introductory stage, not being difficult whatsoever and is actually much more like a training stage. The player must hit targets to open doorways, and demolish monkey dolls held within buildings in order to prepare for fighting real enemies later on. Chalky Station ends when the player heads aboard the train, where the objective is to stop the train -- or destroy it.|
|Sapphire Mines||The second stage of the game. This is a relatively long stage that puts some of a player's talents to the test, but this stage more importantly introduces enemies. These include rats, large cockroaches, and monkey miners. The further the player ventures into the mines, they'll begin seeing old railways, and even a chasm filled with lava that hurts to touch.|
|Railroad Trouble||Railroad Trouble is the third level for the player to traverse. Filled with violent train workers, broken tracks, and malevolent scorpions and walking cacti, this is the first challenging level in the game. Players must try to catch up to a quick-moving train and shut it down, as the leader is going to head over to the Western Forest with harmful bombs. Players will be forced to try and use their abilities to catch up.|
|Wild Rapids||As the bridge below the train exploded, the players will forcefully fall into a long, winding river, whereas they must skid down it on boards made out of wood. As they move across the waters, they must jump over hazards such as rocks and surfing evil monkeys. Halfway through, the player will move through a jungle like area, attempting to turn on switches to access the next area.|
|Midnight Ruins||This ruins area is very puzzle-based, having many traps and corridors to run through. While it's fairly slow paced, it offers quite the challenge, having many moving platforms to traverse across and many switches to press on to open sealed doors. Lava is common near the bottom of the stage, and will instantly burn through players on contact.|
|Underground||The underground is the passageway from the ruins to the Western Forest, and is less focused on platforming as it is enemy combat. Endal sent many monkeys to the underground to battle off the players, so they must concentrate on getting rid of the monkeys. Players will sometimes have to dig paths through dirt -- there are multiple paths through to the end.|
|Western Forest||The home Bowie and family were kicked out of, the teddy bears must use sneaky platforming techniques to overcome the burning trees, and move as fast as they possibly can to avoid the widespread forest fire. At points, the player will have to overcome giant, metallic walls that serve as barracades to Endal's base. Shall this be done, only the final level remains.|
|The Ironworks||Endal's base of operations, and what was once Bowie's home, the player must get through the trickiest platforming bits, carefully maneuver around the traps set around, and find buttons and switches to access new rooms of the Ironworks. The goal here is to shut down the five generators that keep the base operative, then the final battle must be fought.|
- BowieQuest's name was meant to have a sub-title to it, such as "Rise of Endal" or "Nature vs Machine". However, the simple name "BowieQuest" just stuck.
- The humor style was shaped by the old Spongebob seasons and old cartoons, such as Looney Tunes.