Licensed games releasing alongside kid’s movies are about as predictable as the tides. Smurfs 2 hit theaters this summer, and right on schedule, along came console and handheld titles in support. The Smurfs 2 for Nintendo’s DS is one part storybook, one part mini-game collection. It’s a decent addition to the movie, but one that will only have lasting appeal for the youngest fans.
Everything about the game is geared towards young gamers. The first section is a read-along storybook, presumably following the plot of the movie. Holding the DS sideways, the words on the left screen are underlined as they are read, while an image displays on the right. Some elements of the images are interactive, such as a flower that grows when tapped with the stylus. Others are highlighted, meaning that they will launch one of the mini-games when tapped.
There are nine mini-games, although three of them, coloring, cake decorating and Smurfette dress-up, would be better described as activities. The other six are more traditional mini-games, ranging from something similar to Simon and memory, to a racer and flying game. Again, these are built with children in mind, and are very simple to control and understand.
Selecting the mini-games directly from the main menu allows the player to choose the difficulty level from easy to expert, adding some replayablility. Good performance unlocks Smurf characters for the collection. In the collection, players can rotate the figures and move them around, but that’s about it.
Using the stylus I had no trouble controlling any of the mini-games. The graphics are fine for a DS game, although the sprites in the Match the Smurf game were not especially distinctive. The background music was nothing spectacular, but nothing offensive either, and the voice reading the story worked well.
In the end there’s not much to say about The Smurfs 2 because there’s not much to the game. Kids who are young enough will enjoy the storybook and mini-games, but it’s a hard sell for anyone old enough to handle something more challenging. For those with young children who enjoyed the movie it’s not a bad game, but anyone else will find better ways to spend $30.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.