It’s been said a million times, games that are tied to movies just don’t pan out in the long run. Countless licensed games have hit store shelves only to fail miserably, and many of those based on kid’s movies are easily found in bargain bins in any store with a videogame section. The Peanuts Movie was released this past November, along with a game starring that loveable beagle Snoopy. Unfortunately, we were not able to acquire a Snoopy’s Grand Adventure review code until late December and with Christmas holidays and whatnot we haven’t been able to focus on this movie tie-in with our full attention, that is until now. Snoopy’s Grand Adventure is a game that is able to really generate some fun for the young ones and it really isn’t that bad of a movie/game tie-in at all.
The premise is simple, Snoopy is on a mission to find and save the rag-tag Peanuts gang, from that brash tomboy Peppermint Patty to Snoopy’s faithful owner Charlie Brown. The story isn’t deep, as it doesn’t have to as the game is not geared for those looking for some sort of profound narrative. You’ll journey across various themed levels that provide your platforming adventure. From forests to Aztec like temples to the skies above (as Snoopy flies his ‘cosworth bi-plane’ which is simply his doghouse), you’ll find a nice selection of environments that manage to change things up during your quest.
As you start your quest to find the Peanuts gang you have one simple skill set, jumping and hovering. Snoopy can use his ears as a propeller to hover and move like a helicopter. As you go through some of the game’s levels you’ll find a key that opens a chest with a new Snoopy suit that allows you to gain a new skill. The Beagle Scout outfit allows you to scale vines found in various levels while the Snoopy Astronaut suit allows you to jump to higher places as if there is no gravity. Personally, I loved seeing Snoopy in these outfits as they are cute and add gameplay elements that help you access new parts of levels you may have not been to earlier on in the game, plus watch for the suit specific animations as you just may have a chuckle or two. Kids in your family, or Peanuts fans in general, should appreciate them.
“Sure, it’s not as long as one may hope for as it’s over sooner than later, but it stays pretty true to its source material, which is refreshing.”
Gameplay in Snoopy’s Grand Adventure is simple enough, make it through from point A to point B in each level and eventually complete the boss level to save the specific Peanuts character. Boss levels are modest enough, as you only need to figure out the patterns of most of them. I found the boss levels well designed and a testament to the games overall platform feel. As for you completionists out there, there is a bit more to do. There are 300 jellybeans in each level and some of them require different skills (costumes) to reach. There are also 6 hidden Beagle Scouts in each level too, and as with the jellybeans reaching some Beagle Scouts requires specific skills to get to them. All in all, the game won’t test anyone’s skill too much, which should be expected for a title that is geared towards kids.
If there is one area that is really disappointing, it is the total length of the game. It’s not very long and can be beaten in one sitting. A few hours of gameplay for a fully priced game is hard to accept. Sure, there is some replayability with the collectible aspect (jellybeans and Beagle Scouts), but that in itself won’t stretch the gameplay length that much longer. That being said, I can see young kids with siblings, who may also game, picking this up more than a few times for some co-op mayhem, as who wouldn’t love going through a level with Snoopy and Woodstock together.
Presentation wise, Snoopy’s Grand Adventure is pretty good. The game is a 2D style platformer with 2.5D graphics. Each area you traverse is colourful and varied. With underwater exploration and venturing through levels where you need to see through stone walls, there is enough here that the levels won’t feel too familiar. You’ll also come across different enemies in each environment too, from snakes with Peppermint Patty hair to totem pole looking enemies that spit baseballs, there is some creativity here, there is no doubt about that. Technically the game is fairly solid, but you may find some delay (lag?) as the screen scrolls, but this wasn’t too evident in my playthrough. As for the sound, the one thing that really struck me was the music as it has the jazz sound that is so associated with the Peanuts. It was very relaxing and not overly intrusive. If there is one way to explain it, it is that it fits the Peanuts universe. If there was one thing that was lacking it was that there wasn’t much, if any, Peanut voicework, but I was able to overlook it as the game stars Snoopy, and many of the sounds associated with him are included.
Overall, Snoopy’s Grand Adventure is a movie based game that isn’t half bad. Sure, it’s not as long as one may hope for as it’s over sooner than later, but it stays pretty true to its source material, which is refreshing. The levels are varied and eye pleasing and the gameplay is traditional platforming that gamers of all ages and skill can play. While it is hard to recommend you buy it at full price, it’s far from a bargain bin title and it deserves your attention, especially if you have little ones who love the Peanuts, cartoons or videogames as a whole.
***This game was reviewed on the Xbox One with a code provided by the publisher***
- Visuals resemble the movie
- Snoopy’s different suits
- Simple enough for the kids
- Over too quickly
- Some scroll lag
- No replay value