Review: Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties (Nintendo DS)

Garfield: Tale of Two Kitties
Platform: Nintendo DS
Developer: Two Tribes
Publisher: The Game Factory
Rating: E
Genre: Platformer
Release Date: 10/17/2006

The second movie starring everyoneâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s favorite overweight lasagna eating cat is out on DVD now, and along with it a new game for the Nintendo DS. Is the game like a good pan of lasagna or does it make you want to ship it off to a foreign country like Nermel?

Story:

One day Garfield gets a note inviting him to have dinner at a palace in England, and since Garfield canâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t say no to free food he makes his way to the palace. The rest of the game is helping Garfield get to the palace. Some might be disappointed that there isnâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t more of the story from the movie in the game, but at the same time most Garfield comics Iâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ve read are about him going from sleep to food, occasionally doing something to Odie on the way, itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s not as if the source material is Ayn Rand.

Playing the game will not ruin the movieâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s story for you on one hand, on the other thereâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s not really much of a story to even speak of.

3/10

Graphics:

Much like the Spiderman 2 game for the DS the game is presented with Garfield interacting in a 3D world, but controls like a side scrolling game where occasionally the camera and character will switch into a different directions. Garfield himself looks appropriately like an overweight orange cat, and the environments have a decent amount of detail but the game isnâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t pushing the DSâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s graphical capabilities by any means. There are a lot of jagged lines and edges to everything and a lot of repeated textures.

5/10

Sound:

The sound is pretty good actually. A decent variety of background music for the different levels with occasional level specific background noises like wind noises on the roof of buildings and car horns for the city levels. Garfieldâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s sound effects are adequate. Nothing horrible, and the game makes the DS purr when you close it which I thought was funny.

7/10

Controls/Gameplay:

The game plays like a 2D side scrolling platform. In that respect thereâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s only one button other than the D-Pad that youâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ve ever have to push, the A button. The A button jumpsâ┚¬Â¦and thatâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s 90% of the game right there. Thereâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s a few extra controls, like a couple of the levels use the touch screen for Garfield to look around first person style and the touch controls are also used in the levels sometimes in order for Garfield to go into a different direction when thereâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s more than one path available. The microphone is used as well to blow into in some levels in order to make Garfield meow. While all of these are interesting ways to use the DSâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s capabilities, they are also commands that probably couldâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ve been mapped to the other unused buttons.

The only problem with the jumping in the game is that it feels kind of floaty, though the game is pretty forgiving and itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s relatively easy to adjust yourself in midair so this never really is a problem once you get used to it. Thereâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s no attack button, but thereâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s also very few enemies in the game. Overall the game feels and plays like most 2D platform titles.

7/10

Balance:

As someone who has played platform games since the Atari, itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s hard for me to really judge the balance of the game for the target audience. I pretty much breezed through the game, younger audiences however will take longer to learn the game, but in many ways the game is extremely forgiving. Each level starts you with nine lives (get it, heâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s a cat) though if you get harmed you donâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t have to start the level over again; you just lose a life and continue. Itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s a platform game and the platforms you have to jump onto are large enough where reaching them is never a problem and if you do fall many times the game will provide you with a way or getting back to the area you fell from. Not all the jumps are easy however and throughout each level there are food icons for Garfield to eat/collect, these arenâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t necessary to complete a level but some of them are in hard to get to places that provide an additional challenge even after youâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ve completed a level.

Older gamers might be able to breeze through the game, but a younger audience who enjoy the movie should be able to enjoy the game without being frustrated.

5/10

Replayability:

Like I mentioned earlier there are food icons throughout each level to collect, and after you beat a level the game opens the level up for Timed Missions, where you can try to beat your own time for completing a level. With 22 missions thatâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s enough to go back and try to get what you missed, so thereâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s some reason to keep going back. Still once youâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ve beaten the game thereâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s not really any surprises left.

4/10

Appeal:

If you love the movie and are a Garfield fan, the game is worth a try. Older gamers might find it a bit too easy and if you donâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t like Garfield obviously this game will not appeal to you.

5/10

Addictiveness:

I beat this game really, really quickly so itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s hard to judge the addictiveness level. If you like platform games itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ll hook you enough to see how the next level pans out until itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s done, but itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s a short trip, and once itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s over, thatâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s it.

3/10

Originality:

Itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s a 2D platformer where you collect icons on the way to the end of the level. There are a lot of games that match this same description. Some of the touch screen and microphone stuff are original enough but the first person touch screen levels are short and generally feel like Whereâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s Waldo. Thereâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s nothing really new here otherwise, though the formula has been tried and tested enough so that what is in the game works well.

4/10

Miscellaneous:

If you are a parent whose kid loves the Garfield movies than ignore any scores you might see in this review and know that the game is enjoyable and well made enough that younger kids should enjoy the game. If your older and a fan of the Garfield movies you might try the game out but itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s short and you would probably find a longer game more enjoyable.

5/10

Final Scores:

Story: 3
Graphics: 5
Sound: 7
Control/Gameplay: 7
Balance: 5
Replayability: 4
Addictiveness: 3
Appeal: 5
Originality: 4
Misc: 5

Overall: 48/100
Final Score: 5/10

Short Attention Span Summary
A short but enjoyable Garfield experience that should please younger gamers who like the films, which is exactly the target audience for the game. Older gamers should look elsewhere unless they are Garfield fans.