As good as Iâ€™m sure the new Simpsons movie is, I felt a bit of a pang when I was asked to write the preview for the upcoming â€śSimpsons Gameâ€ť. Surely we all donâ€™t need another movie tie-in! Fortunately, the game gods seem to be smiling on us with this one: no movie tie-in, and though itâ€™s a cross-platformer, this title looks to be smart, funny, and fun for all the family without being one of those â€śfamily gamesâ€ť that no one actually wants to play.
The game, naturally, looks to recreate the feeling of the TV series, and has around 8,000 lines of spoken dialogue, fortunately delivered by the actors of the show. Youâ€™ll get a chance to play each of the family characters, who have their own special abilities to help you get through each of the 16 different levels. The different abilities are well-suited to each of the characters: Homer becomes Homerball, eating everything in sight, Maggie can crawl into small spaces, Marge rouses the mobs with her nagging bullhorn, Lisa alternately tries her hand at hand-to-hand combat, and meditates for special powersâ€¦ and Bart, is of course, Bartman, who can climb walls, and float through the air.
But for those of you who remembered the old Simpsons platformer, this oneâ€™s got a nice point of difference: each level is a Simpsons-take on a popular video game, everything from â€śGrand Theft Scratchyâ€ť to â€śMedal of Homerâ€ť, which comes complete with Wolfenstein look and feel. Thereâ€™s also a Lisa-Frogger moment, for all you Atari-heads out there. The gameâ€™s basically packed to the gills with references to make the most hard-core Simpsons and/or gaming fans out there giggle with glee. Comic Book Guy even makes an appearance to lend his subtle (and snarky) commentary along the way.
While the gameâ€™s perfect for family cooperative play (and encourages this type of gaming, with most levels requiring two Simpsons family members to complete goals), thereâ€™s no multiplayer mode planned. Still, sitting down to the console with Grandma to fight over who gets to play Bart sounds like a lot more fun than most family gatherings. It could be a goodie for Christmas!
The Good: Itâ€™s The Simpsons, how can it not be good?
The Bad: Another cross-platformer that may provide varying experiencesâ€¦
The Ugly: Milhouse. As King of All Cosmos from Katamari Damacy.