Like the film itself, this tie-in platform adventure for dancing penguin movie Happy Feet 2 is definitely one for the very young, and offers little to entertain the adults navigating the controller come Christmas morning. That said, it caters for its intended audience very well, with a gentle repetitiveness that rarely oversteps your patience.
Whether single or two-player, the game follows main characters Mumble and Ramon as they collect musical notes and stray penguins in order to shift ice blocks and defeat hungry eagles. The only problem with this is the size difference, which makes things a little confusing at times. While Mumble is visible at all times, a second player lumbered with playing as Ramon may lose track of their character in the mass of smaller penguins the pair start to accumulate.
The game, again like the film, is focused on music, but when playing for more than 10 or 20 minutes at a time, the songs can start to grate in a big way. It all depends on how long it takes your little one to navigate the arctic territory and progress onto the next level but, if particularly slow, you may get the uncontrollable urge to hit something (preferably the mute button).
Mini-games within the levels, which occur more frequently as you progress, are nice and simple, often just requiring you hit the right buttons at the right point in a sequence, and you don’t even have to be very good at this to pass. These challenges act as the main bosses at the climax of each stage, and allow you to move on to the next part easily enough.
Of course, some children may not want to progress, preferring to simply make their penguins dance. This is possible, if a little pointless, as the controls allow you to synchronise your little gang even when it’s not required. Clapping, spinning and, frankly, jiving (there’s no other word for it) will certainly entertain those less interested for a little while, and is the main control of the game.
It’s all very good-natured, adding nothing and everything to the plot of the film. There really is no storyline here, thinly sketched out in pursuit of a forward momentum, but never important enough to understand. Everything, including the penguins themselves, moves along at a leisurely pace that lends no urgency, and makes for a stress-free adventure game perfect for the kiddies.
Like the film, it’s great for a younger demographic, but never substantial enough to sustain an older audience’s interest.
You can rent or buy Happy Feet Two at Blockbuster.co.uk.