It’s the Big Game, Charlie Brown is a game geared towards a younger audience. At least I hope that is the case because this game has very little to offer. The interactive experience revolves around Charlie Brown’s epic quest to gather his friends for a neighborhood game of baseball. I use the phrase “interactive experience” because this PC/Mac game is very skimpy on actual game play. It’s the Big Game, Charlie Brown will allow players to interact with their favorite Charlie Brown characters, but that is its only redeeming quality.
It’s the Big Game, Charlie Brown is a simple game. Instead of confusing you with things like options and game modes, you have just two choices on the menu screen. You can either play baseball or “round up the team.” The baseball section should be a quick way to get into the fun, but instead it leaves the player both un-satisfied and bored to tears. Click the mouse to hit, click the mouse to select a pitch, and don’t forget to click the freaking mouse to move your player around.
The biggest draw of It’s the Big Game, Charlie Brown is the main “quest.” Yes, that is right, 85% of this game is a watered down role-playing game. Don’t get me wrong, I like RPG’s. I don’t need constant action to enjoy a video game, but at least give me a reason to play through the game. Getting together the neighborhood crew for a game of baseball is far from an epic adventure. It is all compounded by the fact that Charlie Brown mopes and wines the whole time. Snoopy tries hard to save the day with comedy, but it isn’t enough to dig this game out of the lame.
My biggest problem with It’s the Big Game, Charlie Brown is that it simply is not fun. It’s not that the game is mind numbingly easy, it’s just that there isn’t much to do. In the main quest you wander around the neighborhood talking to people and playing a few mini games in order to gather a team for the big baseball game. You literally go through the entire game pressing only one button. Just point your mouse and click, then repeat again and again. The excitement meter lands somewhere between taking a nap and brushing your teeth.
The graphics in It’s the Big Game, Charlie Brown stay true to the Peanuts style, but don’t provide much eye candy for your expensive graphics card. The 2D cell shaded cartoon style graphics do help you feel like you are in the Peanuts world, but in a way they detach you more from the game play. You become a spectator to the limited movement on screen. The sound is another category that doesn’t add too much to the game. All the characters sound like their cartoon counterparts, but they do tend to repeat dialog over and over again. It’s the Big Game, Charlie Brown is not about the graphics and sound though. People don’t buy these games for eye-popping visuals, but it is worth noting that these aspects of the game are passable at best.
Even for the $19.99 price of admission, It’s the Big Game, Charlie Brown is pretty skimpy. The game screams to be part of the official Peanuts website and completely free to players. Another idea would be to pack this game into a box of Lucky Charms. That way you wouldn’t feel cheated out of extra money and you could also make some art out of the game disc by sticking it into the microwave.
Any kid who plays It’s the Big Game, Charlie Brown will probably feel like they are being punished. Hell, I felt like I was being punished when I played through this stinker. So there you have it… If you want to punish your child or yourself with a dumpy RPG, then purchase It’s the Big Game, Charlie Brown. Do yourself a favor and pick up A Charlie Brown Christmas on DVD if you are looking for some enjoyable Peanuts entertainment.
Summary? Trust me, this game is not even close to fun.
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