Since I’ve had trouble finding enough time to dedicate to this blog, I feel like it would be a good idea if I could find something that was both somewhat interesting and easy to fit into my schedule. Every couple of days, I am going to pick out a random game, play it for about an hour, and write a brief review/write up for it. I hope that doing this exposes me to new gaming experiences (both surprisingly good and hilariously bad), and also allows me to write about things that not very many people have written about before.
Since these games are being chosen at random, I’m going to have to hold them to a lower standard than I would a normal game. Given the huge amount of crap the video game industry churns out every year, most of these games probably won’t be very good. I am going to be doing this with an open mind, knowing full well that pretty much none of these games are going to actually be good. That being said, let’s get to Random Game of the Day #1: Curious George for the Gameboy Advance!
First of all, I should apologize for my general lack of knowledge of the epic Curious George saga. From my point of view, this game is about a little monkey named George who is stalking some dude who has a hat that looks like a banana. George is also obsessed with fireflies, and possesses some sort of magical ability that allows him to spawn bottles of them by simply poking random objects. Pretty frickin’ cool if you ask me.
My ignorance about the premise aside, let’s discuss how Curious George functions as a game. Curious George is….. actually kind of fun. It’s a fairly simple run-and-jump platformer, just like any other “cartoony” licensed video game adaptation. Nothing really stands out about Curious George’s gameplay, but the controls surprisingly work pretty well. I’s even say that it is somewhat fun trying to run through a stage as fast as you can. A lot of licensed platforming games I used to play when I was younger had control schemes that at times didn’t work in the way that they were supposed to. Curious George’s controls may be simple, but if you’re going to be making a cheap game on the GBA, that is exactly what they should be.
However, Curious George is not without it’s flaws. The biggest complaint I had was that the enemies in the game were absolutely horrible. George has no way to defend himself, and therefore cannot defeat any of the enemies in the game. The enemies in the game are other animals that run back and forth between a single area, and at times they can be extremely frustrating. There is one level in particular in which you must enter windows of an apartment building. However, you cannot see what is in the building until you enter it. Basically, if there was an enemy who just so happened to be near the entrance at the time you entered the window, there would be no way to avoid getting hit. While this doesn’t necessarily make the game hard, it is this kind of artificial difficulty that can really hold a game back.
Overall, I was actually surprised by Curious George. By no means is it a good game, but it is a lot better than most other licensed platformers. Let’s recap:
- The controls work surprisingly well, which makes running through levels quickly fun
- Simple gameplay fits perfectly on the GBA
- The game’s enemies cannot be killed…Seriously?
- Lots of artificial difficulty that only exists because of the game’s own limitations
6 Derpy Monkeys out of 10