Magic Pengel: The Quest for Color is a PS2 title developed by Garakuda Studio and Taito. As a member of the monster battle genre, it shares a number of gameplay traits with games like Pokemon, in that the player takes on the role of a young up-and-coming monster battler and works their way up the ranks to become the champion. What's unique about Magic Pengel, however, is that the player is empowered to create their own monsters, called 'Doodles', simply by drawing them into existence
Studio Ghibli worked with the developers of this game to include a number of special Studio Ghibli-designed Doodles. They're found throughout the game, both in battles and as purchasable doodles from certain vendors in the game's sole town.
Typical of the monster battle genre, the game's story is mostly an excuse to make Doodles fight one another. The player is presented with a first person viewpoint for the majority of the game, except during a number of cutscenes, and is never able to see themselves.
At the start of the game, the player's mysterious unseen persona befriends a preteen girl and her dumpy, whiny little brother. The group, through their domination of the Doodle Kingdom's Doodle fighting tournaments, get caught up in a political situation that pits them against the evil king of the Doodle Kingdom, in an attempt to save, find, or revive the long lost Doodle King, who long ago stripped mankind of their ability to naturally create Doodles.
The Doodle Creation System
While the Doodle creation allows for a wide variety of unique and bizzare creatures to be produced, the player is initially limited in what they can make. As they progress through the game, they unlock new categories of body parts such as arms, legs, wings, and weapons. In addition to this, the player is able to purchase a multitude of brushes from the various shops throughout the game's lone town, giving them more control over the appearance of their Doodles.
As players win battles, they recieve units of 'color' to use to upgrade their Doodle or create new ones. Different colors of 'color' are linked to different stats. Shades of red tie into the Strength of a Doodle, shades of blue tie into the Magic abilities of a Doodle, shades of green tie into the Defense of a Doodle, and other shades have numerous, less noticable effects.
What a Doodle can do is based not only on the colors used to construct them, but the way in which they're constructed. Doodles with large legs will gain kick attacks, Doodles with no limbs whatsoever will be limited to body-slams or magic attacks, and Doodles with weapons will use them in combat. This lends a bit of experimentation to creating Doodles, as the player has only a vague idea of what a Doodle might do based on how they're created, and some may end up surprisingly powerful, surprisingly weak, or have strange and unexpected abilities.
Battles in Magic Pengel: The Quest for Color are rather simple, using a variant on Rock-Paper-Scissors that incorporates a fourth, 'neutral' element that has no advantage or disadvantage over the others. In this case, Strength beats Shield, Shield beats Magic, and Magic beats Strength. Charge does not attack, but rather, powers up the Doodle's next move while they take damage as a trade-off. Once an option is used, it's not available on the next turn, making it impossible to always be able to defend against the opponents moves.