|System: X360, PC, Wii, DS, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Brash Ent.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Brash Ent.||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 15, 2008||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|
Even with the utter lack of any kind of choice involved in traversing its levels, the game still feels the need to hold your hand throughout the entire experience. While most players wouldn't find it difficult to find their only available path or the only object they can interact with within range to proceed, Space Chimps goes out of its way to point out what your next move should be. Bright flashing arrows appear on or near anything that you can interact with, further drawing attention to the game's completely linear nature. Instead of actually having to figure out where to go or what you should be doing, these arrows just point you exactly where you need to go, so you can finish the game without ever having to actually think for yourself.
As with most movie tie-in games, Space Chimps' success and appeal hinge more on its name and movie assets than on its gameplay. Sadly, fans of the film will likely find this aspect disappointing as well. Small clips from the movie function as the glue used to hold together this game's compilation of similar and irrelevant levels. Okay, so I'm jumping, running, and solving the same simplistic "puzzles" again. Why exactly am I doing this? This time it is because I have to save Luna, now it's because I need to get to the Horizon, next time it's because (fill in the obligatory reference to an event from the film). Fortunately, these clips from the film are of high quality and help to remind you of why the film is a vastly more enjoyable experience than playing this game.
Other than these cinematics, Space Chimps is a graphically underwhelming game. The Ham and Luna character models look decent and are well animated, but they are difficult to appreciate since the camera is often much too far away to make out any real details. Besides some differing abilities and audio, it can honestly be incredibly difficult to tell which of the two primates you are actually controlling. Backgrounds are made up of a mishmash of dull and overused textures, making this game look more like an N64 game than a Wii title. Although some levels may contain some plant life or spatters of color here and there, most are rather dark and drab. Everything including the ground, walls, platforms, and even most of the game's water appears to have been dipped into a bucket of brown paint before being put into the title.
While this Space Chimp's platforming is fairly solid, its linear nature and numerous problems succeed in removing any enjoyment that could possibly be derived from this movie tie-in. Instead of buying this game, your money could be better spent watching the film again or even saved to purchase its eventual DVD/Blu-ray release. Since this game takes only three to four hours to complete, you'd actually be paying less money per hour for a much more entertaining experience either way.
CCC Freelance Writer