To say that I've certainly played better kids games before is not an understatement. Still, My Street does have a fair amount of appeal, wrapped in a sometimes too complex or boring package. My Street gathers together a small collection of mini-games, offers single and multiplayer play modes, and kicks in a pseudo-adventure mode to boot. The games tend to be difficult to control, with a steep learning curve, but are ultimately enjoyable. The adventure mode, where you play the new kid on the street, has further problems, but only really for those lacking any patience.
The adventure mode lets you explore the neighborhood, interacting with other kids, collecting items and completing goals, all to the eventual end of playing a mini-game. If you can find a gas can, you'll be able to collect fuel, and power the lawnmowers for one game. Save up enough money (earned by performing chores) to buy an RC car, and you can race it around the track with the rest of the kids. As adventures go, this one isn't so hot, suffering from an overall tedium that makes completing each task somewhat unbearable. Additionally, there's minimal interaction with the environment beyond talking to the other kids, and a poor camera control system meant that I spent most of my time jumping straight to the mini-games.
If you're up for something quick, you can build your kid and go straight to a mini-game, no strings attached. You won't need to unlock anything, with the game giving you each and every play option straight from the start. Each game takes a lot of getting used to, as the controls are usually quite touchy, if not downright impossible to learn the first time out. Practice makes perfect, but some of these games seem to rely quite significantly on luck, not skill. However, for those of us used to old skool arcade games, you'll recognize an old 2D racing game reborn as the RC racing mini-game in this title, which is always enough to make me smile. Throw in online play, and the mini-games are generally pretty fun, even if they can take some getting used to. Plus, the infrastructure necessary to support the PS2 Network Adapter already exists for other titles, which might let My Street circumvent the problems of having an online capable children's title.
One of the most noteworthy, however insignificant, high points to My Street is its keyboard system. Unlike most titles, where you've got a keyboard map which must be navigated around to enter text, My Street uses a new and innovative system. Using the analog stick, you move between different regions of a circular keyboard. Each section has four characters, each referring to one of the four thumb buttons. With shoulder buttons to switch between lower case and upper case, as well as special characters, this really speeds up typing with a gamepad.
The graphics are highly stylized, using cel shading and a good cartoony look, also giving each player the chance to make and customize their own kid, with a variety of clothing styles and face types. I'd say that My Street would be a solid purchase if it weren't for the small flaws present in the title. If the mini-games were easier to play, and there were more of them, paired with an adventure mode that wasn't quite such a throwaway piece of gameplay, this would be a really good title. As it stands, I'd suggest renting it. There's just not enough here to justify my recommendation to purchase, even though it's really, really, really close.
Download My Street
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP