This time around, Shrek and his gang make the transition to the world of videogames by incorporating both hack-n-slash and adventure-puzzle elements in Shrek Forever After
. While the basic gameplay does help appeal to more than one type of gamer, the reality is that the game feels a bit basic, boring, and too easy to appease most of those fans. In a long line of bad movie games, Shrek Forever After
certainly doesn't hover in the bottom of the barrel, but don't expect it to be bobbing for air at the surface either.
Shrek Forever After allows up to four players to combine forces simultaneously, but also allows fewer players to quickly swap out the character that they control (from the four main characters: Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, and Puss In Boots). Each character has his or her unique abilities that need to be combined to solve most of the puzzles in the game as you progress. An example early on has you picking up melons as Shrek, and then putting them onto a catapult. Donkey is then required to kick the catapult into position, and finally Puss launches the onslaught of flying fruit toward the target. Fiona also gets involved with her ability to light objects, including fuses, oil trails, or fires under cauldrons, all of which allow you to pass otherwise unreachable areas.
Throughout the game, you'll actually be transported between two worlds via the Magic Mirror. In one sense, you'll be navigating through the current world of Never Never Land, but there is also a dark side that changes paths and includes enemies that are set to stop Shrek and his friends from reaching their end goals. The puzzles that lie within are generally not all that difficult either, although it is possible to have to pause for a minute to rethink some of the block-moving puzzles.
In all, Shrek Forever After is a somewhat enjoyable game that could have been much more significant. The game feels like it was rushed out the door (often the case with movie games), but I would imagine fans of the movies will likely enjoy it more than some others. The four-player aspect is certainly appealing, but the same actions can be performed by a single player. The swapping of characters on the fly (popping in instead of being computer-controlled and along for the ride) makes solving puzzles a bit too easy. It should be noted that the game also locked up on my twice, on two different Wii consoles, when trying to pause the game... something so simple is an inexcusable bug that can potentially cost you progress.