The Smurfs

a game by Infogrames, and Virtual Studio
Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesis SNESSNES Sega Master SystemSega Master System PSX NESNES GameBoy GameGear
Genres: Action, Platformer
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 3 reviews
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See also: Smurfs Games
The Smurfs
The Smurfs
The Smurfs
The Smurfs

Overview

A new baby Smurf has been delivered to the Smurf Village. Meanwhile, the [[Smurfs]]’ archenemy, Gargamel, is cooking up another scheme, creating a miniature army to capture the Smurfs. Join Hefty Smurf in one adventure to keep Baby happy and a completely separate adventure to rescue Baby and nine other Smurfs from Gargamel.

Gameplay

Given the look of this game, at first glance one might think this is another 3D-adventure style game. In reality, it is a 2D-side-scrolling platform game with an incredible 3D look to it. The game itself is broken up into two separate adventures: "It’s a Piece of Cake" and "It’s No Picnic".

In "It’s a Piece of Cake," the game again is split into two parts. The main object is to keep Baby Smurf happy by giving him rattles, baby bottles, baths, and pillows so he can sleep. The number of bottles and rattles are numbered so you’ll need to go search in several different environments to replenish your supply. "It’s a Piece of Cake" is designed to get you used to the game and gameplay and otherwise is likely intended for a very young audience as it is impossible to lose lives or lose any of the seven different levels. Parts of this adventure make it appear to be more of a storybook style game than an action title as you can interact with many things along the paths in the levels.

"It’s No Picnic" is really the meat of the game. This adventure will have you join Hefty on a quest to free nine other kidnapped Smurfs and Baby himself from Gargamel’s castle. The quest is separated into 10 different levels ranging from the Smurf Village to the forest to underground to the mountains, and of course, Gargamel’s castle. While playing these levels, Hefty can pick up a few different items that will help in his quest such as a double-jump potion, an attack potion, and a dash (speed) potion. You can even find some of Jokey Smurf’s presents here and there which are useful for breaking walls and taking out enemies. There are bonus items such as candy that, when enough are collected, will give you an extra life. There are also 30 crescent moon icons scattered about over the levels. If you can find all 30, then Hefty will receive a special bonus at the end of the game.

The controls are very simple to handle and are very responsive. Movement is handled with the directional pad (analog is not supported) and three other buttons handle the rest of the action (jumping, various actions, and throwing presents). In some cases, it becomes a little difficult to really explore and search the levels as you cannot look up or down so you may not see that you’re about to jump in a pool of lava or a bottomless pit. Fortunately, you can save after each level in "It’s No Picnic" and you have the ability to play previous levels so you can find things you originally missed (such as crescent moon icons).

The difficulty of the game is fairly low. The two adventures are aptly named and describe the general difficulty of each. The levels are not very long either (each one can be completed in less than about 10 minutes if you run straight through). There are few surprising things that will catch you off guard, but lots of extra bonuses to search for. I was able to finish both adventures in less than two hours.

Graphics

The graphics in this game are broken up into cartoon art and animation (for the cut scenes) and 3D art and animation (for the gameplay itself). The cartoon art is equivalent to what you have seen in the TV series. It’s bright, cheerful, and friendly. Even though this is a 2D-side-scrolling game, it has wonderful 3D effects, graphics, and incredible scrolling foregrounds and backgrounds that do not interfere with the general gameplay. Like the cartoon art, the 3D art is also bright and cheerful. This game is visually stunning all around and is neat to watch even if you aren’t playing. Much like the art, the animation of the different characters is done well and is very fluid. On a side note, they forgot to include Hefty’s tattoo on his upper arm in both the cartoon and game sequences.

Audio

The music in this game is superb. If at all possible, play this game on a stereo TV or connect the PSX to a stereo. The sound effects are average for a Playstation game these days. While the voices in the game sound fine, the first thing any fan of the Smurfs will find is that they are not even remotely close to the voices in the cartoon series. They all have British accents and have a much more serious tone than the cartoons. I was a little disappointed by this as it made the characters seem more foreign to me (and I am definitely a fan of the cartoons).

Documentation

While this game is simple enough to figure out in a matter of about five minutes, the documentation goes over everything quite well. You’ll likely want to at least look over the manual so you won’t miss anything. There are some actions that are not listed in the manual. The ones that aren’t will present themselves during the course of the game and are explained on-screen.

Bottom Line

This game very much appears to be designed for very young children up to about age 10 or so (no actual age bracket is listed on the jewel case, but Infogrames web site states ages five and up). The brilliant graphics and backgrounds are definitely worth mentioning again as they are very nicely rendered. Overall, while the game isn’t that difficult, it’s a nice break away from all the 3D games out there. If you have young children, are in the mood for a simple 2D-side-scroller, or are just a fan of the Smurfs in general, this game is for you, which is why I give it a score of 82.

Game Reviews

  • Manufacturer: Infogames
  • Machine: Super Nintendo
  • Theme: Action

Believe it or not, there is a smurf game coming out (in Europe that is...). Play as one of those cute blue buggers in an oversized world. It seems that Gargamel is up to his usual trouble again.

You play as an ordinary smurf and you will meet some famous faces, like Papa Smurf and Smurfette.

Smurfs is your basic side-scrolling adventure, with a few Mode 7 levels put in for good measure. So it's not just a psycho idea, it's a reality. Who could have ever believed it?

The Smurfs is a side scrolling platform game, featuring the tiny blue characters from the well-known series of the same name.

Story wise, the game is pretty generic and doesn’t really give any insight as to your exact purpose. In a nutshell, Smurfette was captured by the evil Gargamel and taken to his manor. It is your duty to make the long journey to his lair and free her.

In The Smurfs, the gameplay is very much based on platforms, in a very familiar Mario style, but more vertical rather than horizontal. Although all the little Smurf can do is jump, this is all that you really need to progress. To reach certain places, you must jump on springs which you can also carry with you and place them wherever you need. There are various enemies to be found throughout its 15 levels (or “acts” as they are called), and most of them can be defeated by simply jumping on their heads. The rest (hedgehogs, for example) must be avoided.

On the screen you can keep track of your remaining health measured in tiny hearts, the number of lives, the number of leaves you collected, the remaining time and your current score. Collecting 25 leaves will grant you an extra life, and hearts can be replenished by finding berries. You are also able to collect stars which, if you gather 25, will give you access to a bonus level; strangely enough, you cannot see how many you have collected.

The Smurfs has beautifully designed graphics, but only if you take them separately: the character sprites and the backgrounds. They both have their appeal, but the characters are very flat and cartoony, not unlike the comics, while the backgrounds are very detailed and significantly more dimensional. Simply put, the two don’t mix well. Regarding the sound, there is not much to say except maybe that the effects could have been a little more realistic. Overall, it works.

To conclude, The Smurfs is a well-rounded and polished game that could have used a few more levels, and maybe also more time to complete them. Still, it is a good way to bring back childhood memories, or simply have some fun. Be warned, though, the game is not as easy as you would think.

The Smurfs features:

  • 15 different acts, some with more than one stage
  • Explore various locations, from forests to mountains to rivers
  • Beautifully designed environment and smooth animations
  • Platform gameplay with hidden trails and bonus levels

Snapshots and Media

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots

Sega Master System Screenshots

GameGear Screenshots

GameBoy Screenshots

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