Review by Arkrex
"For parents who chase after their own kids only"
According to my mother, I used to fancy Tom and Jerry back when I was a kid; I've even got some imprinted denim jeans to prove it! This is what brings me to give out my thoughts on this 'purty' game, which seems to be a little confused with its target audience.
Visuals - 7
Sound & Music - 7
Gameplay - 5
Longevity - 5 (1.5+ hours for the gaming parent; 2x for the gaming kid)
Replayability - 7
Difficulty - 6-7 (Speed levels will be difficult for the young 'uns)
Cartoonish - 8
VERDICT - 5.0
Cat & Mouse enter the Cel-shading Era
Some great use of the cel-shading technique is used here to give the game a cartoon-like vibe. Big Tom and little Jerry look the part, as do the various locations around the house. The black outlines do get a bit fuzzy when things move about, but young children will obviously see past that, and in their eyes this is essentially the cartoon on the small(er) screen.
I don't recall Tom ever having such a sinister laugh, but he definitely comes across as menacing here! Most of game is composed of some jazzy pieces, along with those sweet little motif runs that occur when something funny ensues. All the crashing and slip-up sounds are straight out of the cartoon. Not too shabby really.
You play as the mouse Jerry as you attempt to create chaos around the house for the more responsible cat, Tom. Sounds mean doesn't it? But I guess it is a mouse's nature. You may begin with a brief practice session to guide you through the tasks you will be accomplishing, and then you are onto the 6 levels of the game, each featuring a different section of the house from kitchen to dining room. There are 3 tasks to choose from in each.
1. In the Time challenge you race to the end as fast as you can, grabbing the red-hot cheese to give you a boost and avoiding hazards such as pins, spilt juice, and of course smelly old cheese. Races are quick and suitable for fast play.
2.The Speed challenges will see you guiding a rocket-boosted Jerry around the room. The aim is to score lots of points by passing through the rings that litter the place. These sections are reminiscent of Star Fox's training modes, or Superman 64, if you are familiar with those titles. They aren't too bad, but since the camera tends to swing in the most unexpected ways, directing where Jerry actually flies is initially a lesson in trial and error. These sections are particularly difficult for the young ones too.
3.The Break challenges are quite unique. You run around room yet again, but this time the cheeses you pick up act as ammo to throw around the place with the stylus to break as many objects as you can see. Combos can also be racked up to compound points scored.
In all these 3 modes your aim is to meet the standard for a gold, silver or bronze medal. By obtaining enough, you can then proceed to the main challenge of each level/room - the Touch Time challenge.
Tom is now after your butt, and so Jerry must make a dash for the mousehole whilst avoiding all the household hazards littered about the place, escaping the paws of the chasing feline, and generally making as much of a ruckus while he's at it. You control Jerry with the directional buttons and and certain points you will need to tap, rub, or follow certain on-screen cues to activate sequences. Success results in some incredible leap or funny antic (eg. turning on the heater to steam up the lazy old Tom), functionally buying you some time as the big Tom catches up to you. Failure usually results in Jerry falling splat into a wall or something equally as funny. These parts really play out like a cat & mouse chase that you would normally see in the cartoons. The control interface doesn't quite gel that well, and young kids may especially find it difficult to coordinate button and stylus use simultaneously. But it does look good at least.
For ages 8+
Yep that's my recommendation, and even then some parental guidance (or older sibling for the gaming-challenged mum & dad) may be required. The game itself doesn't make a point to show off some sort of cool gameplay mechanic; it's mostly just racing and directing movement. But those Touch Time episodes are pretty funny, and after you're all done you can still try for better scores and unlock some pretty decent household decorations for Jerry to interact with in his hub-like mouseholey home.
The show is clearly geared towards the younger generation (and I don't think it's even that big in this day and age), but this game shows a difficulty more suitable for those who are pre-teens. That's a fairly narrow target age range there. Perhaps if you are a parent with a couple of kids lying in that region, you may want to consider this game. It's definitely fun to watch, and okay to play if your mind is more focused on the child within rather than what you are actually doing.
5.0/10 - Looks true to the animated show, but who is it really for?
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 12/04/06
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