Garfield and his Nine Lives Review
I love side-scrolling games. It probably has a lot to do with the first game I truly played for a great deal of time, Super Mario Brothers. When I was given the opportunity to review “Garfield and his 9 lives”, I jumped at it. Even though the game is aimed at a younger audience, a side-scroller of any type should be fun. Will this game hold up to my expectation levels of what a side-scroller should offer? Let’s see.
The game’s basis is centered around the weekly comic strips and cartoon show that was shown during my childhood rather then the movie. Preferring the strips and cartoon, this wasn’t a problem at all. The premise of the game is to play as everyone’s favorite feline, Garfield. He, yet again, has eaten far too much which has resulted in some strange dreams. Each dream he has is stranger than the last one. Your role is, of course, to guide Garfield through each of his nightmares to safety.
Your health meter is based on a tray of lasagna. Each time you take a hit from an enemy, you lose a section of the tray. Once you have depleted a tray of lasagna, you will lose a life in the game. You’ll need to collect the lasagna through out the game to replenish your health. This is not available on the hard skills level though. An additional goal in the game is find Pooky, the teddy bear of our hero that is hidden in each level. Pooky is a mere bonus has no value added in the game itself, it’s just a nice thing to find.
The levels, which are well thoughtout for the most part, are based on different aspects of the Garfield comics, ranging from his experiences at the circus to the Arbuckle farm. I especially enjoyed the circus level, forcing me to craftily avoid the banana-throwing monkeys while balancing myself along the tight rope. The levels do get slightly harder as you go along, but for the most part they are at a constant tempo and difficulty throughout the game.
The hero has a kick for a fighting move, which is slightly humorous if you follow the comic at all, as I try to imagine the fat cat attempting to lift his leg to kick. Also available to your hero is a shoulder charge and an elbow slam. These are used to break walls and crates and also were needed to defeat the bosses. The moves were necessary to locate secret passages and doors that granted access to the bonus items. This does not present a lot of gameplay variety to an older audience but would provide a challenge to a younger audience which game focuses on.
End bosses in all side-scrollers seem to be pattern-oriented and Garfield is no exception. The game’s bosses were fun but did not seem to fit into the game very well. They seemed like an afterthought as I did not see any relationship to the level you just played and the boss. Regardless, they were decent challenges and since the game is targeted towards younger age groups the swift defeat of bosses might help keep them interested in the game.
Music and sounds were very well done and integrated into the game. There were no annoying, distracting noises. The sounds seemed to belonged where they should be. Sadly, none of them were taken from the cartoon show. The music did get redundant after a while, so more music would have been appreciated.
A very clean animation style was used in this game throughout. However a few flaws do show up at certain points in the game The most noticeable is when you are near the edge of a floor in the “Haunted House” you can stand on air. A few times I had trouble positioning myself to enter the doors that would exit a secret level. These are not game-breakers but simple annoying things that you must workaround while you play.
The lively graphics, the varied feel for each level, and the gameplay was enough to hold my interest levels and I would imagine keep other people, particular the younger generation interested in continuing as well. If you are looking for a fun side-scroller game that will give you some level of satisfaction, I recommend that you pick up, “Garfield and his 9 Lives”.