reviews\ Oct 26, 2005 at 8:00 pm

Chicken Little - GBA - Review

It’s that holiday time of year again, when all the kiddie holiday movies are released, along with their counterpart computer and video games.  They go together, just like popcorn at the theater.

Chicken Little is slated for release soon in November, but it’s not gotten much press. If it weren’t for the few previews I’ve seen at the theater, I wouldn’t know anything about it.  The little I do know is that it’s a Disney flick, and it continues the story of Chicken Little, after the non-event of the falling sky. After redeeming himself somewhat with playing well on a baseball team, he’s once again struck by something falling from the sky and this time it’s for real.  Chicken Little has to figure out a way to save the town from this menace, which isn’t easy, as no one will believe him after the last fiasco.

The GBA version of Chicken Little features the same story as the movie.  Players will guide Chicken Little around the town of Oakey Oaks, avoiding camera-toting kids (must be some movie element) and other hazards. This is a simple platform game, and Chicken Little has the basic expected moves, but also a few different moves.  Besides jumping and hanging on ledges, he can hit items with a yo-yo, spin attack with the yo-yo, and body-slam while on trampolines to get a higher altitude. Chicken Little’s jumping is adequate, but not all that great.  The body slam movement, though, works very well and can usually get him up to high levels easily.

Not only can players jump into the movie adventure, they also have a choice of playing dodgeball or a race game.  This is very refreshing, as most of the time these types of mini-games aren’t available until well into the game. Here, they’re available for play right from the beginning. More options do become available during the game, like different tracks for the races.  Players can also add upgrades to their vehicles in the races, and add more balls and uniforms to their dodgeball teams by spending their collected acorns in the General Store.

Most of the gameplay is basic platform movement across the screen from left to right, with some of the action taking place in underground levels. There are also some location puzzles that require some thought on how to get from one spot to another past certain obstacles. Once a level is passed, it can be played again.

Dodgeball is fun to play and is well-designed, more like a simple stand-alone sports sim on the GBA, than a mini-game. Players will control a team of kids, who can pass and throw the ball to each other during play. With the cool uniforms and balls that can be bought at the store, this is a pretty nifty mode. The racing game is also good, but not quite as much fun. The races scroll from side to side instead of into the camera, not my favorite method of racing, but at least these races aren’t very difficult.

This is a slightly above average platform game for kids, better than many movie-themed games. The gameplay is engaging and easy, with just enough challenge for most kids, without a lot of frustration due to impossible jumps or bad collision detection. Fortunately, this game suffers from neither of those defects. However, the item collection is rather boring, and the levels have a sameness about them. The game is also short. But, the racing and dodgeball help the replayability factor for kids.

Overall, a good game for kids which parents will appreciate for its non-violence and easy play. While not particularly innovative or new in any of the main features, the two mini-games of dodgeball and racing add to the gameplay and are well-presented. A2M has done a fine job with this kids game.

Review Scoring Details for Chicken Little

Gameplay: 7.5
The platform modes, while not bad, aren’t very exciting. The two mini-games of dodgeball and racing really add to the overall gaming experience, though.

Graphics: 7
Average graphics for the GBA.

Sound: 7
The music is easy on the ears, but there aren’t many sound effects.

Difficulty: Easy
Pretty easy, which is good for kids.

Concept: 7
While there isn’t anything really new in most of the action, the ability to play the mini-game modes right from the start is refreshing.

Overall: 7.5
A decent game for the younger set, that is faithful to its audience.  A2M knew their target, and didn’t shortchange the kids, as is too often the case.  The game is fairly easy, but has some challenging elements, and offers a good variety of game modes. The only real drawback is the short amount of gameplay through the adventure mode, and the mundaneness of the platforming levels. A good game for kids ages 6-10.


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