|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Legacy Interactive, Devo Games, and Animax Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Legacy Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 28, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Nathan Meunier
In an industry that's all too often focused on wrangling in consumers, dominating market share, and making millions on AAA releases, it's entirely refreshing and encouraging to stumble across a video game publisher willing to donate 75 percent of its proceeds from a title to charity in order to help brighten the lives of children who are suffering from serious illnesses.
Activities, education, and entertainment often become welcome distractions for children facing long-term illness, and for close to 25 years the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation has provided a range of programs for these kids and their families to help them through difficult times. To this end, the organization has recently teamed up with Legacy Interactive and Animax Entertainment to offer up The Tuttles: Madcap Misadventures: a humorous and lighthearted 2D platformer designed as a charity fundraising effort to engage the whole family. With a star-studded cast and a solid comedic script rounding out the simple game design, The Tuttles packs plenty of charm.
For the most part, the Tuttles are a quasi-average family, but their road trip adventure turns out far from normal. Plans to hit the Alamo for a family vacation - in a modified flying mini-van no less - run into a snag when an ongoing series of technical mishaps thrust them into increasingly bizarre and entertaining locations. Their unfortunate detour takes them through thick jungles, wooded treetops, sandy deserts, and even beneath the waves of the deep sea in a silly journey that will elicit numerous chuckles both from younger and older players.
Much of the story is delivered in comic book style cut scenes with voice-over dialogue provided by an array of well-known actors. Barry, the typical goofy dad, is expertly voiced by Bob Saget; Jamie Lee Curtis voices his wife Barbara, a reluctant vacationer; their simultaneously bright and ditsy teenage daughter Jess is voiced by Ashley Tisdale; and the younger tech-savvy son Zach is voiced by Dominic Scott Kay. William Shatner is the voice of the family's minivan, and Dave Thomas and Dave Coulier make cameo appearance later in the story. Dialogue during cut scenes is where the great voice work succeeds best. Short one-liners and sound effects from each actor are also worked into the actual gameplay, but they'll quickly become grating on the nerves for most players since they're triggered practically every single time you jump, attack or pick up an item. On the whole, the characters are upbeat and the voice work breathes a lot of personality into the animations. It's neat to have such recognizable voices behind the characters. The orchestral soundtrack is also impressive, and it brings a very movie-like atmosphere to The Tuttles.