Brought to us by the award winning pairing of Disney and Pixar (creators of Toy Story and A Bug’s Life), Finding Nemo is the latest ‘game of the film’ to hit the shops…but is it simply another mindless spin-off with the sole intention of cashing in on the undoubted box office success? Quite probably, yes, but does that matter? In this case I think not. The film (which I have seen and can confirm, is hilarious) will bring in a young audience, and they’re exactly who this game is aimed at.
The game very closely follows the storyline from the film and you’re given the task of navigating Nemo, Marlin and Dory through the various levels in your quest to find young Nemo. The opening sequence and cut-scenes are taken directly from the film and so the animation is flawless. Slightly disappointing then, when you actually get into the game to find a somewhat reduced level of graphics, and although everything looks good and the characters have maintained their cutesy idiosyncrasies, it’s not as good as I thought it would be.
In terms of game play, it can at times be a little confusing - but maybe that’s because I’m a grown-up. When you push the analog stick left, the character you’re controlling moves left regardless of which perspective you’re looking at. In some levels, the screen scrolls from left to right, so pushing left would turn Nemo around and back the way he’d come. On other levels, Nemo is swimming ‘into’ the screen, so in this case, pushing the same left would make him veer off the left. As the perspective changes on nearly every other level, it can be awkward, but as I said, probably because I don’t have the brain of a 6 year old!
During the game, you encounter all the characters from the film from Crush, the far-out surfing turtle to the entire gang in the fish tank. Teamwork is the key to success and by switching between Nemo, Marlin and Dory, you can use their individual strengths to overcome obstacles - which are many and varied. Jellyfish, puffer fish, floating spiny sea slugs and squishes to name but a few - as Marlin always tells Nemo, “the ocean is a dangerous place!” Puzzles, games and bonus levels help keep it varied and interesting and will keep you scratching your head every now and again.
Nice looking, cute characters, easy-going fun but with some confusing controls. The kids will love it and it will keep them going for days.