A Comic Classic That’s Short, Sweet, and Easy to Beat
By Lucia Rossi
No game is as nostalgic, simple, and just plain adorable as “The Peanuts Movie: Snoopy’s Grand Adventure.” Although the video game is aimed towards children, any adult who grew up with the Peanuts gang can experience the beauty in its reincarnation.
This isn’t the type of game you play for the storyline, it’s merely for the enjoyment of it. This game is a great choice if you love the classic 2D, Super Mario Bros. style of gameplay. “Snoopy’s Grand Adventure” is highly criticized for its short length and easy level of difficulty but is loved for all its heart and detail.
“The Peanuts Movie: Snoopy’s Grand Adventure” released in North America on November 3, 2015 and is playable on Nintendo 3DS, PS4, Wii U, XBOX 360, and XBOX One. It was developed by Behaviour Interactive and published by Activision.
It’s perfect for couples, siblings, and adults with children. I played the entire game with my boyfriend and we beat the game in three sittings. By playing together we realized that although it’s a single player game, it heavily relies on two characters playing at the same time who serve different purposes. I’m talking about the beloved beagle Snoopy and his pal, Woodstock. Snoopy is mainly the hero while Woodstock is his sidekick and savior.
The background story of the game is that the Peanuts gang is playing hide and-go seek and you have to find Charlie Brown. In order to do that, you have to find everyone else first, one by one, in six different worlds and 29 levels, with a boss battle at the end of each set of levels. The places where you go through levels include the Peppermint Jungle, Lunar Surface, Parisian Underground, Skies of Paris, Temple of Bunnies, and Melody Chateau.
In each world there are 300 jelly beans ready to be collected, like coins in Mario, as well as Beagle Scouts. They are scouts in Snoopy’s troop who all look like Woodstock and are secretly hidden in every level. There are also special jars of very large beans that once opened need to be collected under a time constraint. This adds some challenge to the game and replayability.
Also like Mario, Snoopy has to jump on enemies in order to defeat them. However, why take the risk of losing precious hearts of health when Woodstock can easily fly by them which stuns and confuses the enemy temporarily? You get no points for defeating enemies in this game anyway.
In every world, you unlock a new costume that gives Snoopy a special power that helps him overcome obstacles in that level. These costumes include a Beagle Scout, the Flying Ace, the Masked Marvel, Joe Cool (who’s power literally freezes enemies), and a detective costume. Every costume change is mandatory and is set for you to use when you need it. Snoopy can also just be his normal self and have the power to glide in mid air by spinning his ears like a helicopter.
Although Woodstock doesn’t get any costumes, he goes through the entire game aiding Snoopy and is completely incapable of being harmed. While Snoopy collects beans, uses costumes, and jumps from platform to platform, it is Woodstock’s job to take care of enemies, activate circles that cause platforms to move, move jelly beans closer together so it’s easier for Snoopy to capture, and most importantly can collect Snoopy’s lost heart of health from the air and bring it back to him when he is hurt. Snoopy can also eat cookies to regain health. None the less, these two characters need each other in this game.
The main downside to being Woodstock is that as the screen rolls to the right, it only follows Snoopy. Which means that if he moves too quickly, Woodstock can’t keep up and can easily get lost out of the frame. Then, you have to wait until he respawns back on the screen in order to continue, but because it is very hard to control Woodstock as he flies, this happens very often and can get frustrating.
Boss battles weren’t really “battles” at all. Most of them consisted of running away or trying to avoid a monster chasing you or dangerous objects coming at you. The most gratifying battle in the game was Snoopy as the Flying Ace versus the Red Baron from the recent film, who shoots torpedoes and bullets at you. Although it is a reference to the film, the game actually has no tie-ins which definitely worked in its favor.
The graphics for the game are just like the film. It looks like it has a mix of CGI with a style of a drawing and has very fine details and beautiful backgrounds. All the platforms interact with the environment. For example, you get to swing and climb on vines in the Peppermint Jungle. The environments also connect to certain characters, like the Melody Chateau has you jumping on a piano for the boss battle before saving Schroeder, or Pigpen’s awful dust clouds coming to attack you. Even bosses resemble characters, like Lucy van Pelt as a giant robot.
Be warned that this game can get very glitchy. My boyfriend and I had to restart our battle with the Peppermint Patty boss because she wouldn’t die after being hit three times with baseballs like she was supposed to. There can also be some lag or slowness, but good thing this game isn’t meant to be taken too seriously.
Critics as well as gamers have mixed feelings about this game. Their biggest concern being how short in length it is with its level of difficulty which is sold at the near full price, depending on what game system it is for. It probably would have been better as a download but was hyped up on television and with the film release.
Even though it ends too soon, the game has such charm and respectable source of materials thanks to the beautiful mind of Charles Schulz.