Shrek Forever After
is a linear platformer following the third film's plot. After saving the kingdom twice, Shrek has settled into the life of a married ogre with kids - and he's not happy. Shrek's current situation fits nicely into Rumpelstiltskin's plot to finally claim the kingdom. The fact that Shrek foiled the miniature trickster's last plot (which involved Fiona's castle situation in the original movie), is just gravy.
With all the cunning and honesty of a used car salesman, Rumpelstiltskin manages to get Shrek to sign on for a chance to become a scary ogre for a day. The catch is Shrek needs to give a day to get a day, which Shrek happily agrees to. Of course, Rumpelstiltskin doesn't tell Shrek which day he has to give up... leading to the diminutive liar's rise to the throne.
Gameplay is as straightforward as it can get. It won't impress older players, but for the younger set, it's great and surprisingly fun. I really like the lack of handholding and "obvious" solutions. The game treats younger players with respect rather than approaching every situation as if players have the IQ of a rutabaga. Is it flawless? No. But, the approach finds the right balance of "smart" and "dumb" gameplay.
Most of the game takes place in levels based on situations from the movie loosely tied together by an overworld map. Shrek can revisit cleared areas to uncover new surprises, including mini-games and items for Ogre Artist.
Ogre Artist is a fun concept. Players can select from four themes (scary, cute,...) and drop stickers collected in levels on a background. It reminded me a lot of the old Colorforms play sets when I was little. Ogre Artist is also tied into the DSLite's camera, allowing kids to take pictures and "Shrek" themselves (or, do like I did and have various Shrek characters attack their face...).