Phineas and Ferb is the latest DS title from Disney Interactive that revolves around one specific property. It focuses around the antics of two stepbrothers Phineas and Ferb and their over-the-top schemes they attempt in their backyard over summer vacation. On the surface it is a traditional DS platformer with plenty of touch screen elements that are relevant to the show itself, making Phineas and Ferb another decent, but predictable addition to the DS library.
The core game centers on collecting various pieces and constructing a vehicle to race. You can switch between either character at will by simply tapping the left shoulder button as you scour the decently-sized town scavenging for parts. Phineas will collect the items much like any standard platformer while Ferb assumes the role of mechanic. Sometimes the items require fixing which incorporates a mini-game on the touch screen such as hammering in nails to construct your creations.
While you are collecting pieces you also have to tangle with their older sister, which adds a chase element to the core mechanic. Once all the pieces are rounded up you move onto yet another mini-game where you construct all the items into one massive structure. Each part of your final goal must be completed before being able to race so there is quite a bit of game to sift through here. The racing challenges are pretty standard fare, but surprisingly are mildly addictive. There are numerous items to collect during each race that go towards the ultimate goal of building some truly gnarly racing courses.
Everything about the game feels highly responsive and even the touch screen games are a breeze to pick up and enjoy. The racing mechanics are manageable for a portable game and everything tends to run at a smooth clip. The game is functional on every plain making access to younger gamers a snap. The only downside is the lack of a two-player option. This game screams co-op between parents and kids and sadly it is completely omitted.
To make up for it Disney has included their new online feature called DGamer. This is basically a way for players to log on to a family-friendly server and upload and share their accomplishments across various games. Also with Phineas and Ferb you can opt to share accessories and items as well as chat with other gamers to obtain strategies. This is a novel idea for younger gamers to interact while not being subjected to questionable content. The service is highly monitored and in our experience extremely friendly.
Visually the game takes on the same perception as the TV show with over-stylized characters and bright color palettes. The animation selection is nicely done and the levels are all bright and full of color. There is an issue of blurry visuals from time to time, but it is nothing to deter from the gameplay. The music is very representative of the show and fits the game nicely.
Phineas and Ferb is a solid addition to the ever-growing library of family-friendly DS games. With responsive controls and a colorful art style this DS title is sure to be a hit with kids who are fans of the cartoon. There is a plentiful amount of content to explore and aside from the lack of co-op support delivers a solid experience for younger gamers. If you have kids who love the show or are just looking for a solid title that strays a bit from the norm than Phineas and Ferb is certainly worth a look.