Films into games: they’ve not got a track record. Maybe it’s a legacy thing that goes back to games developers like Ocean and their, ahem, ‘classic’ run of film adaptations games in the 90s that included gems such as Batman, Total Recall and Nightbreed. It might be that this genre of games has been cursed from the the beginning and that the legendary Atari ET tie-in (still buried in the Nevada desert) still haunts film to game adaptations to this very day. No matter what the excuse, on the whole the expectations for this type of game are usually pretty low.
And they’ve been proved right again.
Not being outright bad, this game of Ogres and Dronkeys is basically Nintendogs, but instead of puppies you get to play with Shrek’s ogre kids and Donkey’s horrific hybrid mutated children, who are of course part Donkey, part Dragon. Not even trying to venture into the logistics of how these Dronkeys were conceived we shall jump straight into the game..
This really is just something we have seen so many times before on the DS. You get cute things (Dogs, Cats, Hamsters and Horses) that can be petted, fed things and played with without the fear of allergies or them pooing on you. And this is it…..Dogs with added snot.
What? You want more? Okay then, basically you can choose an ogre kid or dronkey, select its genre and then stick it in Shrek’s cottage and continually do things with it, and train then to do simple tasks. So whether it’s cleaning their teeth, giving them something to eat or getting then to play with toys, all of it’s here, the entire gamut of generic pondering things that really get you nowhere.
Now granted, this game is hardly aimed at the 32-year old male, although it does score some points in the kids and girlfriend market. My girlfriend has certainly played it a lot more than me. After an hour of mindless pottering, picking things up and watching a baby ogre throw itself around I was well and truly bored and even with the occasional clip of a CG Shrek (without Mike Myers’ voice…but a good impersonation nonetheless) added to spice things up, I was bored.
However, my better half explored nearly every aspect of the game and it kept her entertained for most of Sunday evening. But with far better games of this nature out there such as My Sims and Animal Crossing it wasn’t too long before she was once again buying things from Tom Nook’s shop.
With the gameplay really taking a backseat in favour of you seeing your favourite Shrek characters in game form, and with the overall thing having the depth of a puddle, this release does what it is supposed to do, which is to capture the feel of the last film and sell Shrek and co. merchandise to kids just before Christmas. But like the last film this is a flimsy thin attempt to cash in on what was once one of the best animated franchises in recent years.