|Waaait a minute.. I didn’t see any candy cane guns in the game. Talk about false advertising|
Puzzles and Solvability
There’s not a huge amount of variation on the puzzles in the game. There are some objects to pick up and use or give to other characters. These objects are always easy to spot, often sticking out of their surroundings.
|No need to hunt for THESE pixels|
Some of the puzzles are a bit nonsensical if you haven’t watched the movies (more about that later). Like, why do you give the broccoli to Tiger the cat? If you’ve seen the movie, you might know that he’s a vegetarian, but there’s nothing in the game that gives you any kind of information about that. Then again, that doesn’t really make the puzzle very hard, since you don’t really have a lot of different items, and Fievel flat out asks him if he likes broccoli (provided you manage to pick the right dialogue option…)
|I usually just like to talk about whatever’s in my pocket|
Finally there are the minigames. These are fun-ish, but most of them are quite easy. I struggled a little bit with the dots and boxes game, but it probably just felt like it lasted longer because the rest of the game was so brief. As I mentioned before, my total playtime was only 90 minutes, so the whole thing is clearly not a marathon. I guess you could theoretically get some extra mileage out of replaying the minigames, provided you plan out your saves.
Interface and Inventory
The game is obviously mouse-controlled (pun intended). The cursor is a piece of cheese, and you click stuff to interact with it. You can hover over exit points on each screen, to see where you can go.
If you click Fievel himself, you get the inventory.
|This is probably the highest amount of items I had simultaneously|
|Well, that lesson certainly didn’t stick|
|The save slots are symbolized by items found in the game|
Story and Setting
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the story and setting are based on the first two of the American tail movies. While this is fine in itself, I found it a bit annoying how much of the story isn’t really in the game. It’s like the developers picked out some sections of the movie, made a game out of them and just sort of glued them together with the help of a couple of filler screens, some minigames and a broccoli.
I have to presume that the game is made for those who know the movies, because storywise it doesn’t really work on its own. Sure, you get a fairly detailed introduction to each chapter, but after that, things just happen without any sort of proper build-up.
Settings wise, the game takes place first in turn-of-the-century New York and then in a western desert town, though all characters are animals. Not sure what more I can say about it.
Score: 2 ( Maybe 4 if you watch the movies first )
Sound and Graphics
For the most part, the graphics are decent. Since it’s a licensed game, they’ve clearly had the opportunity to use some images from the movies. The problem is that those images, while looking great on their own, haven’t always been properly merged with the rest of the game graphics. For instance, Fievel himself is always the same size, regardless of the scale of the background, sometimes with strange results.
|Fievel and a rat that turns out to be a cat|
|Fievel and some other mice|
|Movie screencap. Now with 200% more Fievel|
|They could almost have gotten away with a palette swap, but why bother, right?|
|Looks good, but Fievel is almost the same height as that carriage wheel|
|Fievel was the only one in his family to discover color protecting laundry detergents|
As for music, there’s just a single track that repeats over and over. It’s a jolly tune. That fits maybe a third of the locations in the game, though it plays through the whole thing. It’s not too annoying in short bursts, but if the game was longer, I would probably have turned it off at some point.
There are pretty much no sound effects, except during the shootout with the cats at the end. Actually I think the music stops too, during that sequence.
Environment and Atmosphere
The intro does a fair enough job of setting up the world and story. It’s just a shame that there’s so little of what follows. The game is almost too short to get any kind of atmosphere going. As I mentioned in the Story and setting category, it’s incoherent and doesn’t give you a lot of pretext for some of the things that are going on. Add to this that the protagonist’s sprite often sticks out quite a lot due to weird scales or colors not mixing in well with the background. In other words, there’s too much immersion breaking going on to really get into things.
Dialog and Acting
The dialogue is for the most part simplistic, but sort of gets the job done, if you disregard my previous point about needing to have seen the movies to make sense of everything.
|As friends do|
|Why are you leaving, anyway?|
|Yeah, bite into those mouse burgers|
|Dog logic is the best|
|Yeah… so… yeah|
Total score: (4+5+2+5+3+3)/0.6 = 37 ( You can bump it up to 40 if you’ve seen the movies )
100 CAPs for Torch
- Blogger Award - 100 CAPs - For playing and blogging about An American Tail
50 CAPs for Joe Pranevich
- Classic Blogger Award - 50 CAPs - For playing and blogging about The Paranoia
50 CAPs for Ilmari
- Classic Blogger Award - 50 CAPs - For playing and blogging about La Secte Noire
14 CAPs for Shaddam IVth
- Pretentious Twat Award - 4 CAPs - For explaining the origin of the word "prat"
- Psychic Prediction Award - 10 CAPs - For the closest score guess for La Secte Noire
10 CAPs for Morpheus Kitami
- Pun Master Award - 4 CAPs - For explaining a pun on Warren T.
- Christmas Hunter Award - 6 CAPs - For finding new Christmas games for Joe to play
10 CAPs for Leo Vellés
- Psychic Prediction Award - 10 CAPs - For the closest score guess for An American Tail
6 CAPs for El despertando
- Paranoia Award - 6 CAPs - For finding a new Paranoia graphical adventure
5 CAPs for Laukku
- Movie Buff Award - 5 CAPs - For explaining details about An American Tail movies not clear in the game