Each puzzle in Coropata gives you a limited number of items in your inventory, like a single wooden platform or two basketballs, to use in order to help a blue-haired girl get to the goal. Additionally, other objects, including scissors and baseballs, are pre-littered throughout each stage, and their positions can't be changed. The girl automatically interacts with any object she comes across: if there's a ball, she throws it; if there's a banana peel, she slips, delaying her progress for a few seconds.
The first few levels I played involved placing platforms over chasms and placing a ball in just the right position for the girl to throw it and hit a target. Since that kind of aim is hard to predict, the game allows you to play, stop, and edit the level at any time through a menu on the side of the bottom screen.
The puzzles seemed pretty simple at first, but then I got to around the fourth level and instantly became overwhelmed with the complexity. The particular level included (among other things) a platform swinging from two ropes next to a suspended scissor, followed by a stairwell-like series of platforms leading down to a goal on the bottom left of the screen. Meanwhile, a baseball rolled, seemingly uselessly, on the top of the screen. The booth attendant showed me the incredibly cool solution, which required placing both platforms right next to the first step of the "stairwell," changing the angles of the boards, and causing the baseball to roll down right in front of the girl's feet. She picked it up and threw it, hitting the scissors just as the swinging platform came by. The rope snapped, and the platform dropped down a floor, making a bridge straight to the goal.
Perhaps it isn't surprising for one of my favorite games of the show to be a quirky, virtually unknown DS title. Coropata's inventiveness (and, I must admit, its extraordinary cuteness) made a greater impression on me than just about anything else I played at TGS. If only it had been developed by a company with a known relationship with a US publisher ... As it is, there's no way to predict whether or not this little gem will ever leave Japan.
Coropata's Japanese release is scheduled for December 24.