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For: Mobile   Also on: iPhone

Mega mediocre

Product: DreamWorks Megamind | Developer: Shamrock Games | Developer: Infrared5 | Publisher: THQ Wireless | Format: Mobile | Genre: Action, Film/ TV tie- in | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 858KB | Version: Europe
DreamWorks Megamind Mobile, thumbnail 1
One of these days, I'm going to be surprised by a film license.

Out of nowhere, some developer will see fit to turn the next Toy Story into a first-person shooter, full of blood, guts, and Woody being shelled into splinters. The sound of Tom Hanks's screams will scar the minds of millions of children.

There are obvious reasons why developers feel they have to stick to a fairly strict code when it comes to translating the cute and cuddly stars of the big screen into nuggets of gaming nourishment on the small screen-in-our-pockets.

The mistake many make, however, is to assume that all the younger gamers amongst us want its typical run-and-jump fare. Sadly, efforts that genuinely push the boat out – Up and, arguably, much of the Shrek series on mobile, for instance – are rare beasts.

High hopes?

Megamind is one such offender, sandwiching some especially long samples of the film's supposed wit into the kind of play you might expect to find on a Vtech console.

There are no surprises here, with the majority of your attention divided between leaping from platform to platform and gunning down characterless enemies.

The initial goal is to make your way through a number of skyrise levels populated by – in Megamind's own words – a pack of marauding villains, before play moves inside a power plant.

Despite the change of scene, however, the structure essentially remains the same.

Taking down the game's hulks – many dressed in the kind of get-up you might expect staff to be wearing down at your local B&Q - is a case of firing at them with one of a small assortment of weapons, dodging their return fire along the way key.

Finders weapers

Rather than taking bullets, your gadgets are instead fuelled by small blue vials that decorate each stage, with weapons upgradeable between levels back in Megamind's lab. This is performed by picking up not-so-hard-to-find 'mega badges' strewn carelessly around the place, no doubt positioned to encourage exploration.

Problem is, the design of the levels is so banal, so familiar, that any such exploration is fairly fruitless.

Toss in some dodgy controls – delays in letting you switch between jumping to shooting, for instance, dealing your health a severe battering in the process when taking on packs of enemies - and you have yet another film license that, on is the whole, is neither fun nor rewarding to take on.

Even the addition of some extra play modes - including a driving section and some top-down shooting from atop a train - fail to lift play as a whole. THQ's tie-in lacks the brains and boldness to constitute a truly memorable affair.
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 24 November 2010
Making no attempt to bring anything new to the table, Megamind is like scores of other platformers on mobile – tired, tame, and hampered by some dodgy controls
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