Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat – GBA – Review

In Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat, players will visit Sally and her brother’s house as they try to help the Cat round up all the magical creatures let loose by their neighbor, Mr. Quinn. Although the story is taken from the recent movie, the drawings and environments in the game are more similar to the book. The book is a classic and the content is well-suited for an easy action platformer for kids, but does the game live up to its premise?

Digital Eclipse is the developer, and has had mixed success in the handheld game market, with great games like Spyro: Season of Flame and Lilo & Stitch, and some stinkers like Mucha Lucha. Unfortunately, due to a lack of depth or variety, The Cat in the Hat falls somewhere in the middle in the land of mediocrity.

Basically, the game consists of jumping and floating upwards on platforms, first capturing enemies by throwing bubbles at them, then stomping on them. There are a few arcade games that break up these platforming levels every few levels or so with a racing game and an underwater shooter type game. And that’s about it, folks.

The first few levels are fairly fun, but the action soon becomes monotonous because of the sameness of each level. The mini-games, same problem. There really needed to be something different to do in the levels besides just float upwards and chase Thing 1 and Thing 2 in the S.L.O.W. mobile. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what is the problem with this game besides the lack of variety, but it really pales in comparison to other children’s action games like Brother Bear, which offered a lot of environmental type puzzles, along with the platforming aspects. More mini-games might have helped.

The graphics are easily the best aspect of this game. The characters take their inspiration directly from the Dr. Seuss book, and are very well detailed and vivid. The animation of their movements is nicely done; for example, the Cat’s tail swishes a lot as he moves back and forth, and his walking and jumping are very smooth. The backgrounds are also very bright and colorful, and are exactly what you would expect from a Dr. Seuss-inspired game, with the twisted doors and other oddly shaped items.

There’s not much to this game, and there’s not much to say about it. A wholly average game.

Gameplay: 5
The gameplay is simply not that much fun after awhile. There are no problems, bugs or glitches impeding progress, and the collision detection is decently handled, but there’s just not that much to do here that’s engaging in any real sense.

Graphics: 8 
Great cartoon-style animation that looks very nice on the GBA! Very evocative of the Dr. Seuss world.

Sound: 7
The music is upbeat and catchy, but nothing spectacular.

Difficulty: Easy
An easy game to play for all.

Concept: 4 
The concept here is to stay with the old, generic platform formula that’s been done a million times before, usually much better.

Overall: 5
While not a bad children’s game in the sense of being too hard or frustrating, neither is it a good game, and it won’t keep anyone’s attention for long.