Sunday, June 6, 2010

Shrek Forever After is Interactive Fun For The Family

I remember the first time I encountered Shrek. I was on board a transatlantic flight, resigned to 19.5 hours of boredom and fitful sleep. I decided to watch the movie, hoping it would lull me to sleep. Instead, the plot, the humor, and those wonderful characters kept me riveted and I found myself snorting and chuckling all the way to the credits - I loved it!

We haven't hit the theater to watch Shrek Forever After yet, but we have been fortunate enough to check out the Activision Shrek Forever After, The Final Chapter video game. The game extends the film into an interactive experience for the whole family to enjoy.

I wanted to get a child's impression of the game and, since Pudding Pie isn't quite ready for an E10+ video game, I sought out the opinion of her nine-year-old friend (and idol), Aiden. (Pudding Pie was not short-changed - we also received the Shrek Forever After movie storybook, and this has kept her entertained - we love to screech at the scheming Rumpel when he appears .) The always enthusuastic Aiden was delighted to test drive the Shrek Forever After Wii game (and to try his hand at the Shrek Forever After Mad Libs and coloring book). He gave me his sage words on the experience:

"The Good: I like the treasure chests, they give you money. The power ups are a great help. Its fun to be able to change characters. I like the fighting in the game.
The Bad: It would be nice if I could jump. There could be a few more things in cookie's store. It gets a little violent sometimes. "

Aside from Aiden's nuggets, this is what I got: This is a multi-user game that would definitely be the most fun with more than one player because some of the puzzles can only be played with 2 players, not one. Also, with more than one player, family members or friends can choose between Shrek, Fiona, Puss In Boots and Donkey - each with their own skills to help the team progress to the next level. Players meet up with a variety of challenges, working to solve puzzles and navigate mazes, tackle enemy armies and explore Shrek's normal world and his new alternate reality.

The graphics are excellent and there is dialogue/interaction between characters as you play them (they respond, basically). There is some violence that is a bit disturbing to a mom. (No blood, more cartoon-like, but the graphics are so good and the sound effects too, that a hit looks and sounds like a hit.) Of course it could be that I am just not accustomed to what seems to be the norm in video games ...
Overall a challenging and fun game that gets the player thinking about solutions. After two hours of play, Aiden quit only because his mom told him it was time to stop. He gave it a thumbs up and I have a feeling this game is going to be a big hit this summer!

Activision's Shrek Forever After video game is available for the Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Activision and received the items necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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