Monday, November 17, 2008

Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots -- STAY AWAY!

I went to college in the 90's and my first real console was a Super NES. There were a lot of standout games on the platform, but the ease of writing for the machine also created an industry of crud. Many of these lame platformers were simply marketing vehicles: Beavis and Butthead, Rocko's Modern Life, and even 7-Up had a game (although the 7-Up game featuring the little red spot guy was actually pretty good).

Now, I'm not so puritanical to think that marketing and good games can't mix. In fact, I have a side biz making iPhone apps where we hope to make great apps that just *happen* to have a marketing message as well.

But here's a tip to intellectual property owners: the halcyon days of the 90's platformer craze are over. So don't fall into the same old "jump, run, jump, run, die and repeat ad nauseum" pattern that defined so many ill-conceived games from the 90's.

Case in point: "Nicktoons Attack of the Toybots." While the production values are great, and there are plenty of fun moments, overall the game is hampered by a huge level of frustration. For example: a good 1/3 of the game involves tedious and unnecessary jump leveling. Make one mistake at the end of a sequence and you've got to start back at the beginning of that section, doomed to drive yourself nuts. This might be fun for a bored 10 year-old with no other games on the shelf, but for me it only brought back the nightmares...

So unless you find this for a couple of dollars or you want to waste a free rental and some time (and sanity), avoid it like the plague. Pity, as the game did have a lot of potential. If the levels were designed better, I would recommend it. Unfortunately, there's just too much padding for it to be fun.

2 comments:

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