E3 2007: Garfield’s Nightmare

E3 Disclaimer: AMN’s E3 previews are designed to inform you of what each game at E3 plays like, and what we think of what’s shown. These previews are not reviews, and we reserve final judgment of each game until it is finished and released. These previews offer an honest opinion of what a publisher chose to demo at E3. So, without further ado, read on.

What the Game’s About
Garfield’s Nightmare is a traditional platformer for the Nintendo DS from Game Factory. The story tells of a typical day for the fat cat where Garfield has “over-indulged” himself once again, and went to bed with an upset stomach only to fall into a nightmare so bad he can’t wake up. Now you have to help Garfield fight he way out of an endless sleep so he can continue to stuff his arteries with enough cholesterol to fill Rhode Island. It’s a straight-up platform adventure with some mini-games thrown in for good measure.

What’s Hot
It’s pretty hard to find a decent third-party platformer, and especially a licensed one, but that’s exactly what this is. The controls are tight, the animations are cute and true to the character, and the sound effects are hilarious. Nothing beats crazy cat sound effects.

It also has little use at all for the touch screen, which is a good thing because the game seems to be going for a traditional experience. The game is meant for old-school platformer fans who want an old fashioned experience with the D-Pad, and the A & B buttons. You can learn new moves as the adventure progresses, and there are four worlds with twenty levels total to explore; each with its own boss.

What’s Not
The game seems to feel pretty slow, at least with the playtime we had. It also lacks any innovative gameplay, but it isn’t a cheap project. It feels great and plays great, but it is a simple and straightforward hop-and-bop. The 2D artwork and the 3D game visuals do seem to conflict with each other to some degree, but that isn’t anything terrible. The controls don’t have a lot of depth either, which makes it accessible to a wider audience, but perhaps too simple for the seasoned gamer.

The game is actually already out in Europe, but isn’t set for North America until August 20. It isn’t really anything new or revolutionary, but it is good or what it is: a traditional, straight-up platformer. If you remember the old Genesis game Garfield: Caught in the Act from way back when, this game is awfully similar in many ways other than their title star. Game Factory has a tight little game on their hands and platformer fans might do well to check it out next month.