Over the Hedge

Over the Hedge

Written by Erika Gamble on 7/3/2006 for PC  

The hedge. A block of bush between animal and human worlds. Insanity beyond animal minds.

Verne the turtle and his family [Hammy the squirrel, Stella the Skunk and other cute creatures] awake after a long winter nap to see their forest divided by a huge hedge. You play as Hammy, Stella, Verne, and people-smart RJ to defeat the human traps.

While difficult at some parts, the game is rather easy to finish, so the ESRB rating of ages 10+ is a bit off. I had a 10 year old neighbor play. What he said about the game: “It was fun and easy to play but once you finish it, you don't really want to play again.” I think the game should be focused on 7-10 year olds, not 10 and up.

One of the unique traits of the game was that you could play 2 player co-op while playing the same game. It was easier that way because one person could smack the brain controlled little rats, bunnies, etc. while the other could protect the precious wagon of food. But one player mode has its own advantages too. The computer knows all the tricks of the trade and can help pass the levels faster.

Another cool item of this game is the mini-games. I played mini-games AFTER winning the main game. There are three mini-games: RC Racers, Bumper Carts, and Range Drivers.

RC Racers is just that - little carts racing around a track. There are 4 tracks available and they are unlocked throughout the main game. Bumper Carts is like the Bumper Cars at the amusement park: you run around in golf carts trying to blow the other persons engine by ramming into them repeatedly. This game also has 4 tracks. Then comes Range Drivers. Basically, you hit golf balls at cardboard objects [1st range] or moving animals/objects [2nd  range]. But of course, that’s too easy, so a level of complexity is added by the game assigning the type of target to hit. The assigned target type changes throughout the game.  If you hit the wrong target, which will sometimes happen quite frustratingly because the assigned target changed after you hit the golf ball, you will lose points.

The game is pretty comparable to the movie, although having seen the movie is not required to be able to understand the events of the game. The voices are a tad different and the story line too. But other then that, it's very much like the movie. The characters act the same. The game shares some story topics with the movie, but it's mostly comprised of post-movie stories. It had funny moments in the clips and how you played out your missions, but mostly I skipped through the clips.

As you run around the game, you find little CDs that unlock movies, comics, music, etc. The movie clips are the clips from the game levels and some other fun little extras. The music is just the music played in the game. The comics are examples of the old comic strips that served as the basis for the movie.

It's a kid's game, so we solicited a kid's opinion on it. Bottom line: Over the Hedge was fun for tweens, but better for the bottom end of the ESRB rating

Rating: 7.5 Above Average

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.

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