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Garfield and His Nine Lives Review

Developer: Lucky Jump Publisher: The Game Factory
Release Date: May 18, 2006 Also On: None

It’s been many years since Garfield has had his own TV show, although the Garfield character is still strong in the comic strip industry and he does have two movies to his credit over the past few years. Thus, it is odd to see The Game Factory putting out a game based on Garfield, at least in a style that seems based more on the TV show than the more recent movies. But, aside from the logistics of the life of the license on which the game is based, the primary question arises: is the game worth buying? Read on to find out.

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Graphically, the game is sufficient. The graphics are done very nicely in a style very reminiscent of the old Garfield TV show, as I mentioned earlier. The backgrounds do a lot to remind the player of the areas from the show where these dreams are taking place, and they do so quite convincingly. True, these graphics take no risks and push no limits, but they do what they need to, which is to bring back nostalgia from the TV show.

On the sound front, things are decent. The sound effects are appropriately Garfieldish, although they can tend to get a bit repetitive when you have to perform the same action many times in rapid succession. The music is okay, but is not overly memorable, and, in some cases, does not seem appropriate for a Garfield cartoon. But that is just my opinion. Overall, the sound is fine, but not impressive at all.

But the gameplay is where this game falls apart. The game has nine levels. Yep, that’s it, only nine. And they’re not even particularly long. I managed to beat the entire game in what probably amounted to two hours, maybe two and a half, and that’s including a few deaths. At least when you die you have to start the entire level over, which adds a little bit of length. Also, if you care to, each level has 100 of a food item and a Pooky for Garfield to search for, which could add a little time for those who care to bother.

Apart from being short, this game is also easy. I had very little trouble with most things. Indeed, most of this game I just cruised through, although I had minor problems with a couple areas. Granted, I played through the game on the easy difficulty, but when I went back to restart on the hard difficulty, I noticed no difference significant enough to be worth mentioning.

Garfield has the typical 2D platformer array of moves. He can run, he can jump, and he can kick forward, either on the ground or in the air. He can also do a shoulder charge move on the ground and a belly flop attack from the air. My one complaint here is that Garfield’s forward kick attack, at least on the ground, takes about a second to actually come out after you call for it, but the game is so easy that this is a minor gripe.

And let’s talk about generic, because that’s exactly what this game is. The differences between the levels are purely cosmetic, with the exception of a couple levels where the enemy type can actually throw a projectile of some type. In most levels, the difference in the enemy is in its appearance and attack animation, but the patterns are the same. Other than the Garfield locales for the level designs, everything in this game seems to be borrowed from somewhere else.

I don’t know what else to say. What we’ve got here is a short, easy, generic platformer. It is entertaining while it lasts, at least to an extent, but it doesn’t last nearly long enough to justify a purchase, even if you are a hardcore Garfield fan. If you are, I’d suggest trying to rent this, as it is worthy of that much for the true fans.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 3
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 5.5
Written by Martin Review Guide