Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) Review: Is it Worth It?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory cover art

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) Review: Is it Worth It?

Gene Wilder’s Ghost! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) developed by Global Star Software and 2k and based on the movie by Tim Burton, based on the dark and wonderful novel by Roald Dahl isn’t exactly the cup of hot chocolate in the winter. Granted this game’s main audience is children and the team at CheatCC is used to play more adult games. However, being thorough, it’s important to break down if this game actually worth the price and trouble of finding a copy.

Bittersweet Gameplay and Glitches

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The floor in this game doesn’t always render

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory stars Charlie, the movie’s protagonist. The player will run, jump, collect candy, throw candy, fix machines, and solve puzzles while you work your way through Willy’s fantastic chocolate factory. Unfortunately, the gameplay is utterly catatonic and without any imagination, which it shouldn’t have be to mentioned is in complete contrast to the original subject matter by Dahl.

As mentioned at the start, kids’ games are held to lower standards in CheatCC reviews as long as they are designed for the abilities of younger children. Unfortunately, the game suffers from unintuitive design and vague objectives which will frustrate even the most patient player. Without knowing what to do and where to do it, players will have to resort to trial and error. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is rife with glitches and other coding anomalies. These errors will allow Charlie to get into or fall into places he shouldn’t, therefore freezing the game or completely halting progress; only restarting the system will fix the problem. At other times the current objective was so utterly confusing, that most players – I.E. children would probably just throw their controllers across the room and quit playing.

Games Based on Movies Don’t Always Make the Cut

Games based on popular movies are all too often simply just 3D platforms/collecting adventures void of the magic and originality that captured the audience’s imagination enough to warrant the product in the first place. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is entirely reminiscent of the many side-scrolling licensed products turned videogames found on the SNES and Genesis in the early days of gaming. While the graphics and hardware have evolved, the impetus to make a quick buck on a lousy product has not – and therefore the gaming industry will probably never rid itself of this vicious cycle. However, players might be able to stop it when these styles of games stop making money. Although it’s not entirely fair to finger-point. This trend started when the creator of Superman 64 Titus opened the floodgates after making bank off their less than-polished ‘game’.

Great Graphics to try and Hide a Less-than Great Game

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory gameplay
Proportions weren’t much of concern in the early 2000s

The game looks appealing and tries hard to capture the bizarre look, sound, and feel of Burton’s sets and characters, but it’s as phony as Willy Wonka himself. The pretty colors are only present to distract you from the appalling gameplay inadequacies and the voice acting in the movie Charlie is welcome, but in the end, it doesn’t matter. Dressing it up as a cheap cash grab won’t make players like the game. Much like cleaning up a broken down car won’t make it run again.

Final Thoughts

The book and either of the two movies are more than enough for anyone to enjoy the world that Dahl built. However, they should leave it at. Any attempt to extend the enjoyment of the subject matter by playing this game will leave a bad, bitter taste that no chocolate bar or sweet candy will erase. Maybe if this game comes out as a free version someone re-gifted from their attic it would be worth it.

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