|System: Wii, PS2, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Art||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: D3 Publisher||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 27, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The controls in Coraline are very reminiscent of the Nancy Drew PC games and have a point-and-click style. You can run around by dragging your stylus and can enter different rooms by clicking on different arrows. Most of the mini-games also have a point-and-click interface, where you have to tap on various objects to interact with them. The control interface here is very familiar, which is good for those who aren't comfortable with more complex games. However, the control does not really add anything to the experience, and clicking through areas and mini-games will wear on you eventually
The visuals in this game are fairly good for a handheld title, with decent character models and divergent color palettes that help to distinguish the real world from the Other world. However, the game really only inhabits a singular setting (Coraline's house) and is very bland. There is very little detail, and even though the house changes depending on what side of the little door you are on, that just isn't enough to make this title interesting to look at.
Sound in Coraline is also very underwhelming. Both the regular world and the Other world have their own thirty-second theme song that loops endlessly while you are playing. These themes are very basic and can get quite annoying fairly quickly. Mini-games have their own level music, but these only provide an all-too-brief reprieve from the droll level music.
Coraline is a great story in novella form, and the movie, based on the book, is getting excellent reviews so far. But, I just can't say the same for the game based on this work. Running around, talking to different characters, and finding items for five hours just isn't very fun, and this game does a poor job of representing its eccentric source material. Although you may have enjoyed Coraline in some other form, just stay away from the Nintendo DS video game. Unless you can make it to the Other world. Then this game might be a whole lot better.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor