|System: Wii, PS2, PC, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Engine Software||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Playlogic||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 4, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The mechanics of the game all work well, and collision detection is pretty spot on. The game's difficulty makes a fairly steep jump toward the end, however, and when most of the adventure is laughably easy, it's somewhat jolting to have to face the game's final-boss challenge. Still, the developers put forth some real effort when it comes to making interesting use of all three characters, and if you had fun with the movie, chances are you'll enjoy taking this game with you for a car ride or such.
Unfortunately, the game won't last you much longer than that, and clocking in at a mere three hours (four tops) for a single playthrough, it's a very meager package for $30. There are bolts that you collect throughout levels, and they tie into upgrading your weapons, but outside of finding all of the hidden trinkets, there isn't much else to do with the game. There's no multiplayer, and the options menu consists merely of sound and music settings and a view of the development credits - a very barebones production.
On the plus side, the game looks and sounds really good. The graphics engine is reminiscent of what we saw in Spider-man: Web of Shadows (DS), and there are some really impressive smoke and lighting effects throughout the game. The texture work is really smooth, and the animation is rock solid. The only real sore spot in the visuals were the boss battles. There are some unsightly artifacts that rear up from time to time, and the bosses themselves (though it might be more accurate to simply use the singular form, since you'll be seeing the same model over and over) aren't all that attractive to look at.
Though the melodies don't stand out, the music and sound effects are really fitting for the gameplay. Themes add a nice element of excitement to boss encounters, and there's something indescribably satisfying about the sound you hear when collecting bolts. Unfortunately, since it often takes quite a while to wear away at certain obstacles with your gun, you'll get tired of hearing the sound of your own weapons.
We had fun with Aliens in the Attic for DS. On the one hand, it's completely formulaic, has quite a few extraneous level elements, and it's a terribly brief adventure. However, the game also has a lot of charm, a fair amount of polish, and the mechanics and production values are of a very high caliber. With nine adults to rescue and tons of bolts to collect, you can easily get a couple of playthroughs out of the game. Still, the adventure doesn't add up to much in the end, and its length is ultimately its greatest shortcoming. We certainly don't recommend a purchase - even for folks who might have fallen in love with the movie - but Aliens in the Attic DS is well worth a rent for a quick burst of action entertainment over a weekend.
CCC Freelance Writer