Thomas & Friends
Thomas & Friends stars the beloved train engine Thomas, plus other characters from the show, in this adventure style game for young children. There's been a terrible storm and there is debris scattered around the countryside, impeding progress on the train tracks. It's up to Thomas and his friends to help clean everything up so things can get back to running on time.
This is an adventure game on the lines of the Humongous games, with Thomas required to find and fetch various items to give to other characters to advance the game. The game is broken down into chapters which are checked off as completed, and there are also five activities included, which can be played in the adventure, or as stand-alone games.
The inventory collecting is very straight-forward and linear, usually with one item per task, which with the completion of an activity, leads on to the next chapter. One chapter does require multiple item collection, and is slightly randomized, but the other chapters are pretty much single item pickups with no randomization.
The activities are well-designed for this age group, and are fun to play with three levels of difficulty. They include a color matching game, a Simon Says musical game, a sound matching game, an arcade game where kids fish items out of the water, and a creativity dessert decoration activity. Of these, the color matching and sound matching games are the best. In Sir Topham's Secret Mission, links of dual colors and patterns must be matched together to form a chain. The sound matching game requires children to listen to a sound played, then match the item that makes the identical sound. The other activities are fun, as well, except for the rather lame creativity one, which doesn't allow kids to decorate hardly anything.
Thomas and his friends are charming as ever, but this game overall doesn't have the same quality. The adventure is rather blasé, and very linear, there's no advancement unless the item is found and used. The best chapter is where a small list of three cooking ingredients must be found, which changes slightly each time; this should have been the case in all the chapters. The activities are fun enough, but are not strong enough in and of themselves to lift this game beyond the average.
The gameplay is fun enough the first few times, but there's nothing much here to keep kids coming back for more, unless they're rabid Thomas fans.
The animation is average.
Very average music, but it's not annoying, either.
The games are of a medium difficulty, but kids in the older range may find them a bit easy.
Nothing new here, and the presentation is only fair.
A slightly disappointing program that features a popular children's character, who is a gentle helper of others. Too bad more wasn't done with this vehicle.