Bolt Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC | Wii | PS2 | DS
Bolt box art
System: PS2, DS, PS3, X360, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Avalanche Software 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Disney Interactive Studios 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 18, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The platforming is not much better. I found it weird that Penny, who's supposedly a secret agent, has only one real gadget at her disposal called the Wheelbar. The Wheelbar is just what it sounds like: a bar with wheels on either side. It's used for sliding across ceilings and traversing obstacles. As a platforming device, it works fine, but I would have liked to see more variety in Penny's tools. Because she only has one item to use, using the Wheelbar becomes monotonous after a while.

Bolt screenshot

Where the Wheelbar would have really been interesting is in some open areas where you use it to explore and find out how to progress through the game. Unfortuately, as this is a game geared toward children, the level design completely removes any need for creative thinking, particularly with this tool. Each character’s sections are made up of extremely linear, uninteresting paths. The only real difference is that when you're playing as Bolt, you'll often come across open areas to fight Calico's henchman.

Graphically, Bolt is none too impressive. The framerate is decent, but the actual character models and animation are not done very well. The music is also very generic and uninteresting. This bland presentation really does a good job of characterizing the game; it just doesn't feel like a lot of effort has gone into it.

Bolt is severely lacking any challenge, and this is largely a result of its intended audience. Combat is a mindless, repetitive chore; you'll seldom if ever die, though it's worth mentioning that enemies can soak up a lot of damage before they are defeated. Penny's sections are even easier. You can simply tap a button to have the intended path highlighted for you, completely removing any minimal need for exploration in this already linear game. Finally, all that you need to do to take down a foe once he's found you is to tap a single button in a very easy quick-time event.

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All told, Bolt is pretty much what I expected: a shallow, boring, repetitive game with very little depth and uninteresting gameplay. While it doesn't fail miserably in any one particular game component, it never really stands out in any area either. Aside from a few moments of sudden potential, Bolt is a mediocre game worth avoiding. Even if you're looking to purchase a game for a youngster, there are better titles out there to pick up.

By Joseph Catalanotto
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.7
Graphics
Despite a generally stable framerate, the animation suffers in places and the game on the whole is grainy and not nice to look at.
2.4
Control
Controlling Bolt is particularly boring, as it essentially develops into a button-mashing fest – not exactly my idea of fun.
2.3
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
As in many licensed video games, Bolt's music is bland and forgettable. Sound effects are just as bad.
1.9
Play Value
Bolt is a fairly short game devoid of depth or complexity; there's very little reason to even bother playing it.
2.6
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • A new story inspired by the action-packed TV show for the film.
  • Fight foes and use stealth to defeat the evil Calico.
  • Play as either Bolt or Penny.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Bolt screenshot - click to enlarge Bolt screenshot - click to enlarge Bolt screenshot - click to enlarge Bolt screenshot - click to enlarge

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