the writings of a mind

Title: Finding Nemo
Genre: Adventure
Strap: Something smells wishy-washy.

With every Disney release, the rules of tedium state that there must be a slew of cash-in… sorry, tie-in video games, featuring the movie’s poster as their front cover. It doesn’t really matter what sort of game it is, or how much it has to do with the film, so long as the kids can recognise its packaging and begin the nagging.

Finding Nemo, is for want of a better word, an ‘adventure’. A better word would be ‘mishmash’. It appears to be nothing more than a string of excuses to show clips from the film, loosely tying in key events with the most basic of puzzles themed on said clips.

The game is split into two: the story of Nemo’s father trying to find his missing son in the ocean, and Nemo himself, stuck in the fishtank of a dentist’s waiting room. At certain points the game instructs you to swap over in order to carry on, but this serves no other purpose other than to ensure that the film clips are shown in the correct order. Each half is essentially the same theme – change screens until you’re asked to solve a puzzle, which is almost exclusively tiresome pattern recognition. To give credit where it’s due, the half involving Nemo possesses at least a sense of logic to its progression, embracing the traditions of point-n-click, requiring you to complete tasks to retrieve objects, in order to complete other tasks to retrieve other objects, and needing to do so in the correct order.

Clearly this is aimed at the very youngest players, and there’s a fairly good chance they will want to click their way through the challenges for the sake of being able to watch the next snippet of movie. But since it will take them less than two hours to get from beginning to end, don’t imagine this is going to be the solutions to your distraction needs.

With the clips being so central to the whole affair, the quality is shocking. In order to fit it all on a single CD, a digitally produced film is reduced to grainy, half-screen efforts, which rather defeat the entire purpose of having Pixar animation. These could be any old cartoons by the time they’ve been shrunk down and squeezed aboard.

The voices are respectable, with the smaller names of the cast showing up for the recording. Leads, Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks are noticeably absent, but thankfully nine year old Alexander Gould reprises Nemo. Even Willem DaFoe seemed to show up for all seven of his lines.

So while it /would/ entertain the very youngest players, the extraordinary brevity means that it would probably engender more disappointment than anything else. £20 for so little is far too much.

 More of a dog’s dinner than a fish supper.


Tech Specs:

Publisher: THQ
Developer: Know Wonder
Price: £20