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Bee Movie Game

Score: 78%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Dreamworks Interactive
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Action/ Themed/ Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

I think we are beginning to see some interesting shifts in the correlation between movies and games. It is no secret that movies that become games are usually, well, let's just say more times than not, less than good. There are always exceptions to the rules. Games like the Bee Movie Game may not be winning any awards, but it does put together a good gaming experience for kids. So what I am beginning to see is that these games that are based on kid's movies are actually being produced into okay games. That not being enough on its own, however, the second part of this magic formula seems to be to produce that game for the Wii.

Given that CGI movies already come with the art ready for the game producers, they just have to basically adapt it to their platform, I won't call that cheating because there is still a lot of work to do in order to get it just right for the game, but hey it is a lot easier than starting from scratch. The animation is simple and not extraordinary, but it works.

The music is also easy to pick up from the movie. The peppy fifties style music you listen to while in the hive may drive you to shear insanity quickly, but it is peppered with constant, city wide announcements that are occasionally humorous and more times repetitive. The voice overs are okay, but there are several lines that obviously have to do with the movie. Not having seen the movie, it basically was just confusing.


Bee Movie Game takes you through parts of the movie, of course, but mostly it's an exploration game that allows you to move about Hive City. As a bee, it is your goal to stay busy. Not just busy; as a bee you have a role to play for the hive. Visit job terminals and pick up tasks, or wander around town to check out some of the shops where you can buy clothes and cars. Perform these tasks to earn honey. Honey is the currency of the world for a bee. Use this to earn your flight privileges or afford your extravagant bee lifestyle.

The job terminal is where you will pick up your tasks. Choose from the Honex Corporation, the Pollen Jockey Academy, or the Cab Company. Each will have several mini-games that you will have to complete in order to open two locked areas of the game. The Honex Corporation is the heart and soul of the bee hive. They make honey 365 days a year. Once every four years, they make honey every 366 days. The Pollen Jockeys are the epitome of toughness and sacrifice for the hive. They not only defend the hive, they get to go outside to carry out various tasks of pollination and gathering. Join the academy to learn how they do their thing before actually going out into the world. The Cab Company plays exactly like Crazy Taxi, minus all of the accidents.

In order to actually leave the hive, you must use the Flight Pass Agency at the mouth of the hive. Join the Pollen Jockeys as they go about their work of collecting pollen, defending the hive, and pollinating flowers. The first flight is free, so go earn your honey to afford the different flight passes.

With plenty of unlockable content and a multiplayer mode, there is plenty to stay busy with. The Wii version comes packed with exclusive extras. Additional content for the unlockable jobs. Four Wii-only mini-games and 6 competitive 2-player mini-games. There is also a preview for the new Kung Fu Panda Game trailer. The game releases along with the movie in 2008. I guess it is never too early to start advertising to the kids.


Judging how difficult it is to play a game like the Bee Movie Game is always a hard task to manage. In one hand you have the fact it is a kid's game, and in the other you have the fact that I am not a kid reviewing the game. If I say it is hard, everyone thinks "Man... He must suck at games!" If I say it is easy, I get "My kid couldn't get past the first level and you said it was easy!" So, by default I have to fall back on watching my younger family members play and see how they find them. The actual mini-games posed no real problem most of the time, but navigating around the hive did. You would get your task from a terminal and then an arrow would show you the way to the place you needed to go and actually do the task. Dare I say very GTA III for the kid's type of mini-map reading. This posed some confusion to the younger end of the gamers that played.

Game Mechanics:

Bee Movie Game buzzes around several different styles of mini-games. Everything from simplistic point and shoots to easy direction and button press combos to move through cut scenes. There are also much more involved tasks like the pollination sequences where you had to maneuver through 3D space and locate items and perform tasks. One issue I had specifically for the flight game was the inability to invert my controls to a "flight" style of movement. I felt confined because they offered you an open world feel, but there were tones of invisible barriers to contend with. There was this weird thing that when you drove up to a place of employment after selecting a job from the terminal and you competed that job, when you were done you would be teleported a long way from your car. This presented a problem if you were not perfectly aware of how to use the Car Return feature inside the job terminal. Younger players went on long runs across the map to find something to do. This usually ended in boredom and "Get me to another game, please," requests.

All in all, an okay movie-to-game crossover. The games were entertaining enough to get a kid's attention, even if getting them from place to place did get to be a pain. The difficulty in maneuvering on top of what I think was too short of a game does mean that the Bee Movie Game does fall just short of a "B" from me, but they have nothing to be ashamed of. If this were a class at B-university, it would have been graded on the curve making it an A in the movie-to-game crossover world. But alas this is the real world, and here a rose may be a rose, but the Bee was not a "B".

-WUMPUSJAGGER, GameVortex Communications
AKA Bryon Lloyd

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