Pet Alien Review

Pet Alien is based on the short-lived Cartoon Network series of the same name. In the TV series, Tommy is a 12 year old boy who lives in a lighthouse who befriends five odd aliens who crash land on his lighthouse. However, the game takes the action away from the setting in the cartoon series and moves it into space, which may, ahem, alienate fans of the show. Tommy and the aliens are kidnapped by a race of robots that want to put them in their zoo and itís up to the aliens to work their way through the robotsí ship to rescue Timmy.

While you probably think that this is all the set-up for a platform or action-adventure game, Pet Alien is neither. In fact, itís a puzzle game in which you move from one room to the other with the goal of getting to the exit in each room. Standing in your way are a number of traps and inconveniences of the moving walkway, colored keycard, and floor mine variety, and this is where the aliens come in. Each of the five has his own specialty which conveniently can overcome a particular type of trap. One can smash down barriers, the next can hover-jump over mines, another can run the wrong way down conveyer belts, one can push boxes, and the last can grab out of reach objects with his tongue. Each plays the same role in every puzzle, performing their specialties with all the pizzazz of a colored keycard.

When you have a five-trick pony at your disposal to get passed five kinds of obstacles, you have a game that canít help but make you feel like youíre repeating yourself. There a few other things that you have to watch for such as automated robots patrolling the puzzles, but overall each puzzle is more a matter of determining what order you need to do things rather than deciding what needs to be done. This results in some trial and error gameplay that is more tedious and frustrating than it is challenging and enjoyable.

To mix things up a bit the game puts a boss battle in your way every so often. These feel out of place, though. You spend a little while pushing boxes and grabbing keycards and then suddenly youíre hopping around to avoid boss attacks. Platformer fans will get tired of the puzzles before ever reaching a boss battle and puzzle fans will be frustrated by the sudden shift from mental to physical dexterity.

Itís hard to determine just who would enjoy this game. The short-lived cartoon series didnít have many fans and even if you are one youíll probably be disappointed. The game is pretty devoid of personality and doesnít really do anything with its license. The puzzles are too frustrating for young gamers as a single slip-up puts you back to the very beginning of the puzzle. On the other hand, theyíre too much an exercise in trial and error to please puzzle fans. This game will probably draw even fewer fans than the TV series on which it is based.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 50%. Owning pet aliens is not as exciting or interesting as it sounds.


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