a barrel of monkeys is the accepted, quantified, definition
of fun, then one monkey should barely be able to elicit
a slight degree of amusement. Curious George, the
videogame, contains only one monkey and as such seems
to prove my theory.
by Cole Smith
14, 2006 - Curious
George, as a game, is a half-hearted attempt. It's
a generic platform game that has been simplified for
a younger audience offering very little challenge.
It's also very short. A few mini-games have been tacked
on but mostly they are little more than a make-work
project. Overall the game is uninspired and certainly
not worth the money. I know that many of you may be
curious - but I advise you to look away.
George is a classic children's book series that has
been around since the 40s - which is most likely longer
than your dad's dad has been alive. It's a timeless
adventure story of a man and his monkey. George is
a not-so-innocent little monkey whose curiosity leads
to some big mischief. This videogame is based on the
latest full-length animated feature starring the voice
talents of Will Ferrell and Drew Barrymore - who do
not lend their talents to the game. We do get David
Cross (the bald-headed guy from Arrested Development
and the Mr. Show) but sadly he turns in a lackluster
main problem here is that the Curios George series
is squarely aimed at the younger demographic. The
movie follows that philosophy to the letter. There
are no double entendres or winks for the "knowing"
mature viewers. This is serious kids' stuff. As a
result, the videogame is also targeted for younger
children but like so many games aimed at youngsters,
it suffers from lame gameplay. It's as though the
developers think that kids won't notice if the game
is short, boring or derivative. Well, hopefully parents
will be reading this review and they won't spend their
hard-earned money on this digital pabulum. Rent it
and save yourself about thirty-five bucks. It only
takes an afternoon to complete, even if your kid is
a total spaz.
is the friendly man in the big yellow hat. He's returning
from an expedition to Africa where he was searching
for some new artifacts to display in the museum. If
he doesn't get some new displays in there quickly,
it's going to have to close its doors - or worse yet,
get demolished. Unfortunately Ted didn't get what
he wanted, but he's not returning empty handed. Seems
that a curious little monkey has stowed away on board
and is intent on exploring America. Ted quickly bonds
with the little guy. The adventures begin every time
that Ted turns his back on the curious one.
developers missed opportunity after opportunity with
the gameplay. As Curious George, the gameplay should
have focused on exploration and puzzle solving with
some platforming. Instead most of the gameplay revolves
around light platforming, which is so easy it's almost
impossible not to make the leaps. The platforming
is so forgiving in some areas that there are invisible
ledges on either sides of the some of the platforms
that will keep you from falling if you happen to miss.
There are some more involved platforming tasks such
as when George has to jump on moving villagers' heads
to gain access to the rooftops. To the game's credit
the controls are decently tight and responsive and
there are virtually no technical issues, with the
possible exception of some of the camera angles.
is relegated to looking behind a few obstacles in
search of bananas and curious points. These points
can be used to unlock things and purchase items such
as accessories for George. Unfortunately the game
is very linear, forcing you into situations and puzzles.
Most of the puzzles are of the platform variety where
you attempt to find ways to cross over areas. For
instance, you will push a tree over a river in order
to cross it. Other times you'll have to jump atop
various crates arranged in the best possible path.
The solutions are basically spelled out for you with
items lying directly in your path that you can use
to swing from, climb and jump off of. Moves are basic
and include running, crawling, jumping, double jumping,
swinging and sliding.
are an added bonus but they seem tacked on as though
they were an afterthought. They consist mostly of
rhythm games that have nothing to do with the movie
or the children's books. These rhythm games consist
of pressing the buttons as icons move across the screen
in time to the beat of the music. If you can clap
your hands to a Barney song, you can play these mini-games.
the gameplay with various cutscenes is the only way
this game is going to keep the average kid's attention.
The graphics in the cutscenes are just as good as
the movie and the in-game graphics which are always
somewhat lower, in terms of resolution, aren't bad
looking at all. The character models are cel-shaded
which gives them the illusion of depth. Following
the art style of the storybooks, the backgrounds are
not very detailed but what they lack in detail they
make up for in color. The game, like the cartoon,
uses lots of bright primary colors in contrasting
styles. The animation is fluid and with the analog
stick it's relatively easy to get George to go in
any direction that you want him to. It's just too
bad that the map wasn't open to exploration as I'm
sure that would be a lot of fun for kids.
will never fault a game for not being violent but
that doesn't mean it should be void of fun. Even Curios
George himself wouldn't find much interest in this
game should ever come across it - and as we all know,
he's exceptionally curious. Rent it - and forget it.
George through a variety of adventure-packed levels
based on the upcoming universal Pictures and Imagine
Entertainment animated family event film, Curious
George, for release in February 2006.
solve puzzles, tackle rhythm challenges and above
all, make mischief! George always manages to cause
trouble in the uniquely "reactive" 3D
and greet your favorite movie characters, enjoy
in-game cut scenescrafted from actual film footage
and groove to movie music.
special mini-games, film clips, movie tunes and
more. Loads of bonus content will keep you playing
long after the main quest is solved.