The popular children’s series Horrid Henry has taken the leap from books and two-dimensional video games to glorious 3D for the first time. Horrid Henry was created by Francesca Simon and illustrated by Tony Ross, with the BAFTA nominated CiTV series produced by Novel Entertainment, and now is the time to join Horrid Henry on his first 3DS adventure.
The 3DS game is called ‘Horrid Henry: The Good, The Bad & The Bugly‘ and has been developed by Asylum Entertainment. The game is a side-scrolling platform adventure targeted towards a younger audience, especially the fans who have followed the Horrid Henry TV series.
The story revolves around Henry and his younger brother. When Henry discovers that his wormy brother has lost his bunny it is obvious that he will take the blame for it, so Henry disappears into a cloud of dust to start his journey to recover the much-loved pet.
Once in this colorful world, Henry sets out to explore. The controls are relatively simple and you run by moving the circle pad, the A button is used to jump and Henry can slide down hills by pushing down on the circle pad. Your first task is to collect 400 of the cookie cobblers that have been scattered around the land. Henry doesn’t go into this adventure without some protection and carries with him a goo shooter that sprays bright green goo when fired, which can be used to damage any oncoming enemies. Henry uses the goo shooter by pressing the B button. Henry also carries with him a yo-yo which can be activated by using the X button. At this point a little yo-yo appears on the bottom screen and this allows Henry to move objects, once the small icon has been placed on them.
The game is quite strange to begin with as my first encounter is with a giant hamster sitting in the background. In front of the hamster there is a series of boxes, each with a section of a carrot on it, but they have been placed the wrong way round. So using the yo-yo ability you can lift boxes and place them in the right order. This action takes a little while to get used to and can feel a bit fiddly.
Henry makes his way through a variety of worlds, which are filled everything from hippos to carrots, and will have to destroy a number of enemies by covering them with goo from his goo shooter. Eventually he will make his way to Darius Drek’s Fortress where a mysterious bunny is hiding and waiting to be discovered.
The visuals in this Horrid Henry game are colorful, but seem to be a little washed out at times and the sprite representing Horrid Henry himself is relatively small in comparison to the rest of the world. The 3D effect was not particularly impressive in the game and to be honest, aside from trees looking like they were coming out of the screen, I couldn’t see any real evidence to suggest that this is anything more than a standard platformer that could have appeared on the DS. The game is accompanied by some quaint music and the character voices, although incredibly annoying to my ears, are fairly close to the TV show, as far as I can tell. Henry has three different worlds to explore, but this doesn’t stop the game from being rather short in length.
At the end of each level, you’ll be rewarded with a toy and Henry can collect bonus items through the game which can unlock defensive items. Whilst this is quite enjoyable, or at least it will be for fans of the show, it just didn’t feel like it was enough to encourage another playthrough.
For the younger audience and fans of the Horrid Henry show, this game will no doubt be popular. It manages to catch the atmosphere of Henry’s world really well. But the game did feel a bit on the short side, the gameplay is repetitive and the puzzles are hardly head-scratchers. Personally I felt that the game didn’t flow very well, and did very little to encourage me to keep playing. Having said that, I am not a Horrid Henry fan and for those fans none of these faults will matter. Pick it up for the fans of the show, everyone else should look elsewhere.