3rd November 2015
When I hear the name Snoopy I cannot help but say “Snoop Dog is in the house” as I am sure some of you may also. Snoopy however has been around since the 50’s and was created by Charles M. Schulz. He was mainly Charlie Brown’s pet but I think he soon took the limelight in his own right. Snoopy is almost always found with his friend and companion Woodstock, that little yellow bird that flutters about, despite Snoopy being a dog and Woodstock a bird they are both able to communicate. With Christmas rapidly approaching parents will no doubt be looking for some games that are suitable for the little ones, having two young boys myself I know how difficult it is at times finding games that are not violence orientated.
The Peanuts Movie: Snoopy’s Grand Adventure game is just that, a simple platformer that is both inoffensive and simple to play. Of course with a lot of games these days this one was released to tie in with the movie of the same name, so bringing your kids to see the movie and then extending the experience with the game is not a bad idea. In the game you take control of Snoopy and traversing across six different worlds, each of which contains a number of levels. For instance the first world is called Peppermint Jungle and this sets the flavour for the rest of the game. You have to traverse through four levels in Peppermint Jungle before reaching the boss battle at the end. Each of the levels is covered in platforms, trampolines, swinging ropes and moving platforms, which gives Snoopy numberous ways in which to reach the end of each level. Along the way there are plenty of what look like Jelly Beans to collect and these are your main objective, as far as I can tell. Snoopy has a range of ways in which he can make his way around and the default one is simply holding down the A button enabling him to use his ears to fly that bit further.
There are a range of these abilities to unlock and you must find the keys to unlock the corresponding chest in order to equip them. These will aid Snoopy in reaching some of the Jelly Beans and also the collectible Woodstocks scattered throughout the worlds. The first one I came across was the scouts hat which gave Snoopy the ability to climb up vines. You can equip these at chests across each level and they are easy to figure out as each of the different abilities are usually located near where they need to be used. This also adds a bit to the replayability of The Peanuts Movie: Snoopy’s Grand Adventure as you will have to go back over levels with the different suits in order to clear them 100%. Adding to the diversity of the levels are other features such as jars of Jelly Beans that turn all the surrounding beans into big peanuts and you must collect them before the timer runs out. This can be fun for kids as I found out when my own tried and tried to do these. Somehow adding a timer to an activity really excites children and they just have to do it. Graphically The Peanuts Movie: Snoopy’s Grand Adventure is as colourful as a bag of Skittles, with cartoony backgrounds giving way to suitable platform styles.
I did find however that there were some major framerate issues throughout the game, not that children mind this in any way but they are noticeable, especially when Snoopy is swinging on one of the vines. Snoopy also has no problem swimming under water which adds to the diversity of the levels. The enemies are also very child friendly as are the bosses, if you can actually class them as bosses. Snoopy never actually kills any enemies instead he simply knocks them out by hopping on their head, a few seconds later they are back up and continuing their journey. In the boss battles my own kids found them fun and exciting, for instance in one you have to jump on levers to launch giant baseballs at a big wooden mask that is also spitting giant baseballs at you. Hitting this mask three times sets free one of Charlie Brown’s friends and you are off to the next world. The audio is pleasant enough and the background music blends away nicely as not to constantly annoy you at every turn, especially when you have kids playing it for hours on end.
Local co-op is also available in the game where one player takes control of Woodstock while the other plays as Snoopy. I am not really sure if this was a good idea especially when you have two competing boys to contend with, as it did cause a few upsets in my house. The problem is they both have to work together in order to do certain things, simply put, they did not always want to help each other out and a bit of sibling rivalry did occur. Also this mode really adds nothing to the game as a whole and feels tacked on if I am honest.
It does have the feel of games such as Rayman in its gameplay aspects but that is where the similarities end, Snoopy’s game is far less complex and extremely short. I could run through the game in a matter of hours, sure it gives its target audience more in this regard, but I cannot see my own kids going back through the levels just because they unlocked a new suit. To be honest they forget about the last level once on a new one. For someone of my vintage The Peanuts Movie: Snoopy’s Grand Adventure would not really be something I would recommend you rush out and buy. If you are looking for a game to put in the kids Christmas stocking then look no further as it will entertain its target audience and give you much needed peace on Christmas day.
This review was based on a code that was supplied to Mouse n Joypad by the Developer, Publisher or their PR Company. To see our full review breakdown please click here.
Colourful fun experience for its target audience.
Easy to grasp gameplay.
The boss fights are great.
No violence which is a big plus for the younger crowd.
Terrible framerate issues for such a simple concept.
The co-op mode could have been left out giving you the control of both characters like Rayman does.