Curious George PS2 Review

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under PS2, Retro Content, Retro Reviews

Curious George is a popular character from a series of children’s books, and as a movie was released earlier this year the enduring chimp must still be going strong. There’s nothing to be curious about this gaming adaptation though, as it’s basically a run-of-the-mill platformer, albeit one that will please its audience and one with bags of personality.

The game shares the same narrative as the movie and the original book, in which “The Man with the Yellow Hat” goes to Africa to attempt to bring back a mysterious idol to display in the ailing museum that he works at. A little monkey steals his hat (the titular George), and the canary-coloured-clothed man soon comes to realise that the curious creature has followed him back to America.

You take control of George as you follow “The Man with the Yellow Hat” through the African jungle, and is soon satisfying his curiosity in the more urban environments of America. At its heart Curious George is a platformer, but what’s rather unusual is the lack of enemies, putting the traditional jumping and collecting straight at the forefront instead.

It’s a purposely basic game, and even George’s interaction with the environment is perhaps a little too simple. Yes, we know this is a kids game, but perhaps if there had been an element of danger present in some of the interactions it could have made its audience more aware of potential dangers around them in the real world. Instead when an object is shimmering, interacting with it awards you with curious points, which can then be used to purchase extras (unlocked with bananas or by simple progression) such as accessories for the little monkey, movie sequences, mini games and artwork.

It has to be said that George is quite the character though, and witnessing him prodding everything you interact with, dancing, turning on taps, emptying luggage, making a mess with toilet roll, and so on, will make even the most stony faced of people smile. Yes, he’s a little monkey that is charismatic enough to delight not only his audience, but also beyond that.

You’ll be monkeying your way around a museum, an apartment block, a busy road, a boat, a construction site and more. The level layouts are decent enough and mostly unchallenging, which is ideal for the younger and less seasoned of gamers. Platform fans will know what to expect, which means lots of jumping across dangerous gaps, and as you are controlling a monkey, you’ll be collecting an almost endless trail of bananas.

Graphically the game is rather simple, although its colourful and attractive enough to appeal where it counts most. George’s animations are fantastic and lively, and the entire visual package is functional enough to please.

Curious George may be as basic as platform games come and is a little lacking in certain areas, although the age group that the game is aimed at is sure to be ecstatic with the little monkeys adventure. The big kid inside us even had some simian fun!

7/10

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