PC REVIEW: LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS

The latest Jim Carrey vehicle is not only a movie, but a videogame as well. I have not seen the movie as of this review but his performance in the game is a little disappointing although most of it isn't his fault since he's not really the star of this game. The gameplay focuses on the exploits of the three children, and as luck would have it, this game is aimed at a younger audience.

The world of Lemony Snicket is a dark one. The humor is dark, the environment is dark and the mind of Count Olaf is also dark. He's the uncle to three kids, Klaus, Violet and Sunny, which were sent to live with him after their parents died in an unfortunate accident. It seems that Count Olaf has his eyes on the inheritance money and the only way he will receive it is to be the sole beneficiary - if you know what I mean.

The three kids must thwart his evil plans through any means necessary. Taking control of each of the children at different times you will be called upon to perform such tasks as collecting, platforming and solving puzzles. There is nothing in this game that is too difficult. Everything is within reach. If this game were to follow the storyline of the movie more closely it could have been recommended for all ages as an interactive movie but the developers decided to exclude more mature gamers.

The Lemony Snicket story is one part Home Along, one part Adam's Family and one part Harry Potter with a sprinkling of Big Fish and Pee Wee Big Adventure. The animation is great with accurate facial expressions and smooth body movement. There is a lot of detail in the environments which adds to the oppressive atmosphere. Jim Carrey's voice work is second to none and Tim Curry as the narrator is an excellent choice.

Virtually everything you need to solve the puzzles is scattered before you. There is a list at the top of the screen which indicates what you have and what you need. If that's not enough, the items that you need sparkle so they are easier to see. This is a little too easy if you ask me. There are color matching games and alphabetized puzzles as well as collecting which is not as much fun as it may seem since the game keeps you on a tight leash. While the old mansion looks amazing, you can't just go anywhere you want.

The game is linear when it comes to the control of the characters. Although each of them appears to have some unique attributes on the surface they all basically have the same abilities. The only difference is that the baby can fit into smaller places. The game decides which character you play and when.

Jumping is a major gameplay move. There are only a few controls to concern yourself with and jumping is one of them. The other move is the action button which allows you to open doors, throw switches and grab objects. It all works well and it seems as though you're doing a lot more than just pressing a couple of buttons.

Overall the gameplay is far too simple for any casual gamer but it's sure to keep kids entertained even if they haven't seen the movie or read any of the novels.

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System: PC
Dev: Amaze / Adrenium
Pub: Activision
Release: Nov 2004
Players: 1
Review by Daemia
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
3.0
GRAPHICS
4.5
CONTROL
2.5
MUSIC/FX
4.0
VALUE
2.0