|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Legacy Interactive, Devo Games, and Animax Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Legacy Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 28, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Each phase of the journey pits the family against some of the many perils one might expect to face while gallivanting across the entire globe on the way to the Alamo including restless cannibal natives, wild animals, traps, mummies, and more. The side-scrolling action is incredibly formulaic at best, but it's suitably complex for the intended target audience of younger gamers and their family members. Players will have an opportunity to control each family member at different times throughout the trip. You'll run, jump, and attack using basic keyboard or mouse controls which are simple to grasp.
Aside from simply getting to the end of each stage intact, you must also collect a series of character specific items before being able to progress. Also, players can increase their score by collecting money, health power-ups, and other items simply scattered throughout the levels or by defeating enemies. Some of these items change depending on which character you're controlling; for example, you'll collect TV remote controls when playing Barry, a handheld video game unit when playing Zach, a digital music player when playing Jess, and so forth. In between many of the location transitions, you'll also be able to control the family's rocket propelled mini-van in flying levels which provide some needed variety from the standard level designs. In these flying missions you'll be dodging clouds, trees, lightning bolts, birds, and all manner of other oddities while collecting stars and power-ups. In general, the gameplay itself is less endearing than the overall presentation of the game. On the other hand, it also happens to be incredibly easy to pick up and lends itself well to players of varying abilities.
Every few levels, a new cut scene will bring some laughs and keep the plot moving along. The character art style in these scenes is slightly reminiscent of Disney drawings, and kids will likely pick up on this. The comic book panels for cut scenes are worked into basic flash animations with dialogue, but the other areas of the game are more visually appealing. The vibrant colors and detailed scenery offer plenty of visual variety from level to level. Most of the time there's a lot happening on-screen between character movements, enemies, item collecting, and different levels of scrolling backgrounds.
As mentioned before, The Tuttles is slanted towards a younger audience, but the humor and family interactions will be both familiar and entertaining for adults as well. The 40 levels of basic repetitive side-scrolling gameplay start to wear thin by the end. This may not be a problem for kids or attentive parents playing alongside their young budding gamers, but those accustomed to a more complex level of gameplay may find their attention faltering before long. As a fundraiser, the game works on many levels since it features such a surprisingly great cast of voice actors and the funny, family-oriented story will appeal to a wide audience. Also, approximately 75 percent of the game's $19.99 price tag will be donated to Starlight when purchased and downloaded directly through the Legacy Interactive website. Besides being a solid casual adventure game it's a thoughtful charity initiative that has the potential to positively impact the lives of sick children; a noble cause indeed.
CCC Freelance Writer