It's hard to categorize Tom and Jerry Tales
, but it's not hard to describe what is wrong with the game. My background as a gamer goes back to the late seventies and I can say with some pride that I've played many of the harder games both in the "twitch" category and in the strategy department. So it is with some surprise that I find myself stuck trying to beat Tom and Jerry Tales
. I'm a gracious guy, so I assume at first it's my problem. Reading the manual several times and practicing produced slightly better results but then I just lost interest. It's a shame, because the premise of the game is great.
The goal of Tom and Jerry Tales is to get the cat kicked out of the house. You'll do this by playing as the mouse and leading the cat into ruckus after ruckus until the mistress of the house decides it's time for the cat to go. This is executed with a combination of combat-racing gameplay and triggered events or mini-games. Imagine a kart racer combined with a compilation of touch-screen mini-games... It does sound fun and it could have been more fun if the execution was not so awkward. Each level is made up of several challenges that you must tackle to move forward. There are general challenges that result in clearing one of several levels in the house where Tom and Jerry Tales takes place. There are also timed attack modes and those where the goals of the race are slightly different. The main mode involves "touch time" events that are the mini-games I mentioned. Completing these successfully results in some mayhem that takes the cat one step closer to being kicked to the curb. Messing these up may result in being captured and restarting the level.
The mini-games alone would be fun since they make use of the DS technology nicely and show off some nice animation done for the game. The racing alone would be fun since it involves some jumping and gathering items, not to mention blasting things around the house with some combat-racing mechanics. Combining the two makes for some terrible gameplay. Holding the stylus and trying to push every button on the DS, then trying to make it to the touch-screen in time to initiate a mini-game... it's just too much. The mechanics make Tom and Jerry Tales way too cumbersome. Hard is one word, but the individual pieces of the game aren't hard. It's poorly planned, plain and simple.