If it doesn’t go without saying these days, take it from us: movie licensed games are generally tossed together, developed on tight schedules by companies looking to turn a quick profit on name recognition alone. Because of this, they’re usually wretched. So it’s with great surprise that we found that G-Force, the game based on the movie, is not bad at all. It’s just really hard.
The story is almost nonexistent, so all you need to know is that in this game you play as a team of small furry animals trained in the art of espionage. The goal in each mission is to use the items you find to get from point A to point B without being detected, caught, or riddled with bullets.
Metal Gear Fuzzy.
This game is stuffed full of things trying to end your fun. Be warned that in later levels you’ll be replaying missions often. Gun turrets wait around corners, spotlights scan hallways, computer terminals employ anti-hacking mechanisms, and if all of these fail, a timer counts down to game over. It’s a good thing you have unlimited lives, and checkpoints in longer levels.
A perfectly sufficient onscreen D-pad moves your characters, and situational action buttons appear when necessary. On some missions you control more than one character. To solve these levels, you’ll switch between Darwin, Blaster, and Juarez to get to the end. For instance, you’ll have Blaster use his mechanical arm to push boxes out of the way, then swap to Juarez to have him boomerang a gun turret around the corner.
Thankfully, Disney Interactive Studios keeps the gameplay fresh by introducing new elements throughout the game. They don’t throw much at you we haven’t seen before, but we were expecting a much shorter experience than they delivered.
This is a game that wears its inspirations on its sleeve. The overhead, dynamic camera and stealthy gameplay call to mind Metal Gear Solid, the puzzles and boomerang are reminiscent of the Zelda series, and the hacking minigame is a tip of the hat to Bioshock. If you’re going to steal, you might as well steal from the best.
Oh no, Link’s been turned into a guinea pig!
And did we mention Mooch, the machine gun-toting housefly? Only playable in certain levels, he’s a blast to control, since he can slip undetected through enemy spotlights and take out wall computer terminals with a hail of bullets. He can also navigate air vents, which play out in a minigame exactly like a graphically-improved version of the popular helicopter flash game.
The environments are 3D and very detailed, sometimes to the game’s detriment. It’s easy to overlook a switch on a wall when there’s so much ornamentation. The understated techno spy music fits perfectly and never gets annoying.
One thing missing is replayability. Once you’ve solved all twelve levels, you won’t be itching to play through them again. That said, a single run-through takes around four hours, depending on how many times you die. Beating the game unlocks extra Mooch minigame missions, which can be found as a free stand-alone title on the App Store under the name G-Force: Mooch Fly.
Though it’s too tough for younger children, older players looking for a seriously challenging action puzzle game might want to check this one out. There’s a lot of creativity packed into this download, even if some of the missions will leave you frustrated.