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Curious George (GBA)

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      02.05.2009 23:15
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      "Curios George" is a video game released for the Gameboy Advance console in 2006 by Namco. It is based on the children's book series of the same name. In the United States, the game received a rating of "E" by the ESRB panel which deemed it suitable for all ages.

      Players of this title control George, a small curious monkey who has found his way to the United States after befriending Ted the explorer in Africa. Ted was on a short expedition to recover a hidden relic but his journey was not fruitful. On his return voyage to America, George manages to smuggle himself into Ted's bags and this begins George's journey in adapting to American life. The game combines George's initial life in the local zoo followed by his escape and living in Ted's home. The gameplay of this title reflects a typical platform genre release. George is guided through various settings by swinging from vines, branches and other devices while avoiding contact with enemies or falling into snares. It is a very simple game to complete overall and does not offer the player a considerable amount of challenge. George has no attack so instead must avoid all contact with enemies. To counter this, an in-game life system was implemented to include gathering of fireflies for additional lives (similar to Super Mario gathering 100 gold coins for a 1UP). Some of the in-game mechanics could have been improved by the developers. George's leaping abilities are poor, despite being a monkey, and result in many "missed jumps" when trying to navigate between spaced out platforms.

      The graphics of this title are presented from a side scrolling view which focus on Curious George. The colouring of this title is particularly good and fills the display with a wide palette at all times. Detailing is less than stellar but is acceptable in that I was able to clearly see that George is a monkey and could identify other zoo animals in the early stages. The soundtrack is also basic but does feature very upbeat and lively compositions to keep with the often faster pace of gameplay.

      Overall, I would be hesitant about recommending Curious George to prospective buyers. It is a title that children may enjoy but does not offer a considerable amount of play time. Independent sources claim that there is an available two or three hours of gameplay, depending on age and speed of play, which I found to be true. The series in general is known for its easiness on other systems and the same notion was observed in the Gameboy release.

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