I was surprised to find that the Over the Hedge
game wasn't a reenactment of the film, like most movie-licenses, but actually a continuation of the feature. The game's first couple of levels, the tutorial, quickly takes you through the movie and the game actually starts off one year later with the group trying to forage food for the next winter.
This was a pleasant change because it allowed the game to create its own story instead of trying to show off RJ's dilemma and other issues that were brought up in the movie. Instead, the gang is already a family and the only thing you have to worry about is collecting food and taking out Dwayne's brain-washed rodents.
Over the Hedge's staple is action/platformer elements. Levels consist of linear 3D environments with power-ups, destructible items and enemies scattered liberally throughout. The title also hosts a wide variety of mini-games. These are typically short breaks in the standard formula in an attempt to keep the game fresh. You will do everything from run down the inside of the hedge dodging hands and branches, to trying to catch food that the other animals will throw out of windows.
Over the Hedge also sports a few multi-player games. RC Racers is a racing game where you will control RC cars around a track. Bumper Carts puts you behind the wheel of golf-carts in a demolition derby free-for-all while Range Driver tests your accuracy by having you try to shoot out targets with your long-range attack. These games are okay, but really only serve as a distraction for when you hit one of the game's various frustrating parts; if you want to play with a buddy, just have him or her pick up a controller while you are in one of the regular levels.