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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Score: 68%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Global Star Software
Developer: Digital Eclipse
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1
Genre: Platformer (2D)

Graphics & Sound:

Given the high-profile release of the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie, it?s not surprising to find game versions of the film appearing on all of the major systems. Just as unsurprising, the GameBoy Advance version of the game feels like little more than a low-budget tie-in that would only entertain the youngest of audiences. In most cases, this is something of a death sentence, but given the obvious audience for a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory game, this may suit players just fine.

True to the form of big-budget films, the visuals of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are exceptional. Charlie, Wonka, the children, and the factory make full use of the GBA?s wide palette of colors and multi-layered backgrounds. The sound is likewise inspired by the new movie, is of high-quality, and appropriately fitting for the game.


Gameplay:

The single biggest reason Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will only entertain younger players is due to its stripped down platforming game play. You run, you jump, you go back and forth through different parts of a level flipping switches and pushing boxes. There are plenty of candies and WONKA letters to find and collect in the various stages. By the end of the game, you feel like you?ve played all of these levels before; they just have different backgrounds. The game also includes an assortment of mini-games that are mildly amusing for about five minutes, again, perfect for a younger audience.

The story of the game follows that of the movie ? young Charlie Bucket gets his hands on a golden ticket and, with four other very ill-mannered children, is given an exclusive tour of Willy Wonka?s chocolate factory. While the stages of the game are based loosely on the movie?s plot, it goes off in its own directions, going into areas of the factory to help the other children for example, something that never happens in the movie or the book.


Difficulty:

Again, geared exclusively for the younger generation of gamers. Anyone older than the 5-10 age bracket will have to try, very hard, to die in this game. The jumps are easy, the enemies are sparse and predictable, and health chocolates are abundant.

Game Mechanics:

It never gets more complicated than some basic platforming. The D-pad moves you around, A jumps, and B is a basic attack. You have to get to an exit located on the right side of the stage, landing on platforms and dodging enemies along the way. Some of the more original things you can do in a stage involve catapulting hairy Oompa Loompas into hair-cutting machines and carrying them around a stage get into what looks to be a mixture between a bowl and an electric egg beater.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would be a great gift for that younger gamer in the family who carries around his GBA everywhere he isn?t supposed too. Anyone older however, is likely to find nothing to enjoy.


-Alucard, GameVortex Communications
AKA Stephen Triche

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