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Over the Hedge

Score: 72%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Edge of Reality
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Platformer (3D)/ Action

Graphics & Sound:

If your grandmother was to go out and buy a game, by name alone, without knowing anything about the game, it is highly likely you may wind up owning Over The Hedge. I just don't see any other way.

The graphics are surprisingly crisp and well animated. It was a lot more visually polished than I expected for a children's game. There are several movie-esque cut scenes that are well done. The animations are seamless and smooth. A very nice game to look at.

The sounds are a little overproduced at times, and it causes them to sound and feel a little out of place. The music score is simple, synthesizer music, but it plays into the mood nicely. The voice-overs are mostly simple character-defining one liners. The cut scene voice acting comes off a little stale. The lip synching, if you want to call it that for animals that don't have any lips anyways, is pretty bad. It looks like most of the voice acting was added quickly over top of the animation. But, all of this is lost on a younger player. The "stand still" one liners that play whenever you are not touching the controller for a period of time were sometimes humorous.


Over The Hedge gives you ample opportunity to play as the main characters from the movie. You jump around and wield various weapons against your foes. There is a good variety of puzzles, but they got repetitious fast. The look may have changed on a few of the puzzles, but the reasoning was the same.

You start out playing an introductory set of scenes and levels which once complete, lead to you being back at home camp in the woods. Once you establish home base in the woods, you have the ability to switch the character you wish to use and play more missions. There are 35 missions. You also have the choice of playing mini-games that you unlock. There is a tree where you see the different hats you have collected from various missions. You can also collect DVDs, Pringles cans and other assorted items that are in the environment, which allow you to unlock bonus material that is viewed from the main menu.


Over The Hedge is for a younger audience, so it didn't pose much difficulty for me. My secret weapon, otherwise known as my daughter, had no trouble picking it up and moving through the game. She is a little young for the "E 10+" rating and still had no trouble actually maneuvering throughout the game. Some of the puzzles gave her trouble, but with her super genius dad nearby, I was able to save the day. Don't forget this is a kid's game.

Game Mechanics:

Over The Hedge is a hack-and-slash action game. You have one "weapon" at a time. Each character has their signature weapon, but can pick up a variety of others. Your main weapon has a normal swing and a charged swing when you hold it down. You can also use it to hit things with a golf club that you aim with cross hairs. I found this mechanic was a little harried in dangerous situations. Normally you can just button-mash your way through just about any area.

The puzzles are easy and intuitive for a younger player. You have move, run and jump. There is not much else to the control scheme. The camera mechanics would become a bit tedious if I strayed from the path. When switching characters, you are taken to an unnecessary load screen which can be relatively annoying because the home camp area in the forest is pretty small and there isn't a lot to do. In order to go anywhere else, you have to access the bulletin board which activates its own load screen as you enter the next level.

When it is all said and done, this is a nice to look at, basic children's game. There is enough variety to keep the right type of child busy and happy for a little while, but ultimately their attention will wane. This is another of many movie tie-ins that was unable to escape the stigma that movies don't always make good games.

-WUMPUSJAGGER, GameVortex Communications
AKA Bryon Lloyd

Windows Tiny Worlds Microsoft Xbox 360 X-Men: The Official Game

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