Rugrats: Castle Capers

a game by THQ

Platform: GBA

Genre: Action

See also: Rugrats Games

Overview

Forget Paris! Now the Rugrats can visit any city anywhere. With Castle Capers in your GBA you can now travel with all your favorite Rugrats; they're all there, from Chuckie to Dil. Angelica is, as always, the one to beat. She shows up at all the wrong times and is tough -- let's just say you want to avoid Angelica as much as possible (just like on the TV show). Some things never change; she pushes you around, taking your lives from you in this case. Good thing for those 'Health Diapies' -- they do a good job of replenishing your lives. This game reminds me of Donkey Kong for the N64. You get to choose what area you want to work through and each section has different challenges with a boss character at the end to defeat. At the end of each level, after defeating Angelica, you will need to collect an 'End of level Item.' This can be one of six different items, my favorite was 'Dessert Island - Phil's Bag of Worms.'? If you are successful ,you will get a password allowing you to continue next time without the need to repeat the previous effort.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

The controls are very basic and easy to use. You can jump and fire (and when I say fire it is generally some sort of food item to distract the bad guys). There are all kinds of different things to find and lots of secret areas to discover. You get to choose which of the Rugrats you will be playing and then as you go into different areas you have the ability to find more of the Rugrats group in the secret areas to help you succeed. You get bonuses for collecting things, from 'Ali Baby and the 40 Fleas - Rattles'? to 'Sure Would Forest - Coins.'? These will add to your score at the end of a level. Lives and friends are where this game is at ,so find those secret areas and collect those 'Diapies.'? You have a side scrolling format for each level but don't forget up and down, since you will often hit dead ends and need to backtrack and then go up or down to continue.

Graphics

There are good cartoon renditions of the TV show "Rugrats" characters and the movement for each Rugrat is done well. The text in the game reads just like they talk on the show. Even the font used for all the typed text has that shaky I-just-learned-to-write look. If you have never seen the show you will miss a bit of the fun in this game. THQ did a good job keeping the flavor of the TV show alive and there are good bits throughout. Each bonus point item and food item to throw has a nice cartoon look. Each level, in addition to having things to pick up and collect, has a wide variety of things to avoid. The graphics are clear and bright and it is easy to see all the objects in the levels, which is one of my favorite things about this game.

Audio

There is good control over the sound in Castle Capers -- you can raise and lower the music independent of the sound effects. This makes me very happy as I do not care for the "Rugrats" music, but the sound effects do aid in the gameplay. However, my eight-year-old son loves the music and usually has the volume up a bit too loud for my tastes. It is always a plus to be able to customize the sound for a game within the game rather than just having to turn the volume down on the unit.

Documentation

The booklet is good but not essential. It makes for a quick reference, so I would recommend skimming it as needed. There are some good hints here and there and it will identify all the good items to pick up and all the bad things to avoid for each level. However, those are things you will learn very quickly by playing the game. This is one of those games you can just plug in and play.

Bottom Line

My eight-year-old son wanted me to give Castle Capers a score of 93 or 94, so you know it will rate higher with the younger crowd. It is a good game but will not have as much appeal for the older crowd. However, if you are into the "Rugrats" TV show, this is the game for you. There are good challenges, but they are not so difficult you cannot get past them. The ease of gameplay is due to the simple controls. You do not need to spend any time learning the movements, so you can spend all your time engrossed in the game. I would recommend this game primarily for the younger crowd -- I know my son will be borrowing it from me often. He loves the game and now that he has his own GBA, he will be able to play it anytime. He has said to me that 'it is difficult but fun' more than once. I did not find it to be difficult, but I did find it fun. The fact that I am not a huge fan of "Rugrats" (despite being more familiar with their show than I care to be) did not affect the score given, it is well organized and put together. Solid effort THQ, score 90.

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THQ

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