The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Here It Is, the obligatory game of the Christmas family movie blockbuster, unleashed on an unsuspecting public still dazzled by the magical celluloid romp through the wintry world of Narnia. And now, for your buying information, the obligatory review urging you to keep your notes toasty and warm in your wallet, ready for a game more worthy of their crisp, hard-earned rustle.
As movie tie-ins go, The Chronicles Of Narnia is by no means the worst gaming cash-in you're ever likely to see. However, in terms of quality, originality and entertainment, it's hardly going to set your socks on fire either.
Predictably, it's the usual action/ adventure fare that seems to be de rigueur for hit family movies, tasking you with controlling four posh kid characters as they embark in a coincollecting, obstacle-moving, enemybashing adventure.
Tlie key here is co-operation, with each plummy child boasting their very own skills that must be used both individually and co-operatively to solve a collection of often patronising puzzles. Combat isn't much better either, mainly consisting of manically mashing the attack button and hoping the unresponsive controls point you in the direction you're pressing.
All Together Now
Pretty depressing so far then, but it's not all doom and gloom for the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve. First off, younger readers (and no, 29 doesn't count) will be happy to know that the game can be played co-operatively, meaning that combining character skills suddenly becomes a far more entertaining prospect.
What's more, there are a multitude of skills and moves to unlock, and later in the game you'll find yourself utilising some highly imaginative tricks and attacks. There are also countless excerpts from the films that convincingly link one mission to the next, along with some decent graphics and sound that help to suck you into the mystical, icy world that is Narnia. So, not quite so bad after all then.
Seriously, if you've got kids who are eight or below and you want to shut them up for a few nights (just be aware there are loads of spoilers in the game) while you and the missus get some much needed post-Christmas rest, then The Chronicles Of Narnia is a must-buy. But if you're looking for an entertaining postwork action/adventure romp, this simply isn't worth the moolah.