The Shrek games for the GBA keep on comin’. One of the things I was most worried about when the little console first came out was that too many of the games would be licensed material, leaving the innovative stuff out of the equation. For the most part my fears were unfounded. Sure there are a lot of licensed games out there but some of them ended up being pretty decent, at least for a train trip or two. Shrek: Reekin Havoc is no classic by any stretch of the imagination. But it is fun at times and worth a gander if you can get a good deal.
S:RH is a side scroller where you play the part of Shrek or Princess Fiona (in her comely human form, of course). There are six reasonably sized levels to work your way through. In Reekin, this means a lot of fighting and wandering and puzzle-solving and wandering and wandering. The game’s story takes place after the film we know and love. Lord Farquaad has returned to Fairy Land as a ghost and, like any bad guy worth his salt, is still trying to rule all he surveys. With the help of his fellow ghosts and mean fairy tale characters all the land is in chaos. Farquaad has taken possession of some of fairy tale stars (Pinocchio and Humpty Dumpty as examples) and you need to rescue the hostages at the end of each level. That’s the premise behind the design of the entire game.
Good enough. But the six levels in the game are HUGE -- and not in a good way. They seem to go on forever at times with little rhyme or reason. Sure, the settings are pretty and all but c’mon do I really need to wander into every alley to make sure I didn’t miss something? Two details that almost throw some variety into the game are some alternate tasks and a few weak puzzles. These just come off as feeling slapped on. Having said that it takes between two and three hours to finish Reekin; another sign that there just wasn’t much of an attempt to make this a deep game. Nice backgrounds with endless bad guys and some puzzle-jumping do not a good game make. They make for an okay kiddie game I suppose, but the Shrek license isn’t just for kiddies.
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