January 15, 2019 at 7:12 AM #966
The Peanuts Movie: Snoopy’s Grand Adventure
Rating: 2.5 – Playable
Is Snoopy really going on a "Grand Adventure", or is he just leading the charge of another shameless cash grab?
Let’s get this out of the way first and foremost: "Snoopy’s Grand Adventure" is indeed a movie tie-in game. To any gaming veteran, those are cursed words. Movie tie-in games are renowned for mainly being shameless cash grabs that eschew good game play to quickly pump out a title to make money while the movie is "hot". That said… I actually played through the entirety of this game recently and noticed there really isn’t a whole lot of reviews out there. So… shameless cash grab, or decent game? Let’s take a look!
The game starts with the Peanuts Cast leaving Charlie Browns house and running past Snoopy, off to go play hide and seek (I assume). That’s pretty much it for a "story". We control Snoopy from that point forward and play through 25+ levels, finding kids one by one until everyone is found and the game is beaten.
So yeah… there’s really no story to speak of here. Snoopy’s "Grand Adventure" is pretty much a game of hide and seek, with kids being found one by one. It’s looking pretty cash grabby so far…
Onto the game play! This game is the definition of your standard platforming experience. You’ll move throughout the stage using vines, moving platforms and trampolines to reach the exit. Along the way there’s various collectibles you can collect, such as "Beagle Scouts" (woodstock birds) and jelly beans. There’s no point to these collectibles of course (outside of trophy purposes), but what type of platforming game doesn’t have collectibles!?
The only other things of note is the fact that as you play through the game, Snoopy will unlock costumes he can wear that give you special abilities. Many of these abilities are required to get through the level, but the game also starts using them to hide collectibles with as well. You change costumes by visiting a chest in the stage itself, which means that once you are done with a certain costume’s abilities… you are kind-of stuck with it until you either go back or find another chest (a bit of a pain). The various costumes are fairly standard and almost always designed around reaching new areas (jumping higher, climbing vines, breaking certain barriers, etc…) so there’s really nothing you haven’t seen here.
The last thing to note is that there IS "Boss Stages" in almost every area (minus the flying levels where Snoopy is flying on top of his doghouse like he always does). These boss fights are not always fights though: sometimes you just need to outrun a giant robot or out-climb a rising water level. Not very engaging, honesty, but some effort was made to try and give each area a finishing touch. Still, this is all standard platforming at its core, with really nothing special whatsoever. It’s worth pointing out (really quickly) that the game play does lean towards the easier end of the spectrum, and may be more situated towards younger games as whenever you get hit by an enemy your heart hovers above you and you can just jump up to re-collect it and stay at max health. Moving on!
The graphics in the game do their job well, but that’s about it. Each area has its own theme (Jungle, Space, Sewers…) and sticks with it for 4-5 level before changing up. I will note that the enemies in the game get recycled early and often, which undoubtedly made things easier on the art department. Still, graphically the game is OK, but far from anything special. This could be a PS3-era game and would fit right in (don’t expect anything special here).
For a Peanuts game, the voice acting is very minimal. Charlie Brown will pipe up when you pick up Beagle Scouts, but besides that none of the kids actually have any voice acting in the actual game, and Snoopy and Woodstock are of course sound effects only. This just leaves the audio tracks, honestly. Each area has its own music that gets repeated level after level. These tracks do their job well enough, but aren’t very memorable and honestly aren’t even worth writing about.
As far as re-playability goes, it should be noted that there are a LOT of jellybean collectibles in most levels. 300 in each level, actually, and let me tell you: trying to get them all is a royal pain. The only reason to go through this is trophies, honestly, but the game does feature a full trophy list (including a Platinum) if you are so inclined.
The game also has limited multi-player as a second player can control Woodstock and help Snoopy navigate obstacles with Woodstock-only switches as well as knock out bad guys with one hit. Woodstock is over-powered actually as he can fly around and can’t be hurt whatsoever, but he’s also unable to collect any collectibles and is never needed at all. One of my kids actually controlled him while I played and while the extra help is nice, Woodstock will often go off-screen and is a PAIN to get back on screen as you can get stuck on obstacles you can’t even see. There’s absolutely no reason why this should even happen, and is honestly just poor design.
To answer our question at the start of this review: Yes, "Snoopy’s Grand Adventure" is indeed a cash grab. It is an "OK" platformer at best that really doesn’t try anything new at all. Die-hard Peanuts fans may (and should) be the only people interested in this game, and even then since there’s only Snoopy here I have to imagine that even they will be disappointed. There’s really no reason to ever pick up this game otherwise, so do yourself a favor and try out some other platforming game… preferably one that isn’t a shameless cash grab. Have fun and keep playing!
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