Being a big fan of the franchise for as long as I can remember, I’m so glad the Peanuts gang is hanging in there and are more popular than ever thanks to TV specials and their recently released big screen adventure. Of course with the movie comes the tie-ins, and the latest is Activision and Behaviour Interactive’s title based off the film, The Peanuts Movie: Snoopy’s Grand Adventure. It’s not quite the best platformer kids and their parents will play together, but it does have enough of the Peanuts magic to keep you going until the end.
The story is short and to the point, the Peanuts gang have decided to play hide and seek, and it’s up to Snoopy to find them first. Luckily they’ve left a trail of jelly beans for him to follow, and with his bird buddy Woodstock, Snoopy is sure to locate the gang. The gameplay and controls are simple as well, as there’s a button for jumping, which you can press again while in the air to use Snoopy’s ears like a helicopter to glide, as well as a button to use other abilities as they become available. Since this is kid-friendly title, the enemies featured here such as snakes, bugs, etc are pretty non-aggressive and can be avoided for the most part, though you can jump on their heads to stun them if need be, which they will recover from in a few seconds. It’s also pretty difficult for Snoopy to lose a life, since everytime he loses a heart of health, it floats away slowly so players can recover it quickly.
As you make your way through the game, you’ll find plenty of jelly beans to collect, which can be used to unlock extra abilities for Snoopy to use, such as a double jump and more. You’ll also find costumes throughout some of the levels that grant other abilities such as a punch to smash giant rocks that block off parts of the stages. If there’s another person around to play, the second player can take control of Woodstock and use him to flip unreachable switches that will activate lifts for Snoopy to use. All of these skills are pretty useful as you make your way through the stages, collect all of the jelly beans, Woodstock’s Beagle Scout buddies, and of course find the Peanuts characters.
Fans of Peanuts will be glad to know that the graphics and sounds are spot on here, as the graphics are simple but great looking, and the jazz-laced piano tunes on each level fit perfectly. As far as gripes go, the major one that takes away from the overall experience are the laggy framerate issues that cause the game to go from a buttery smooth 60 frames a sec to 30 frames or lower at times. This is something that just shouldn’t happen on a title this simplistic looking, or in recently made games period. Also, the jumping doesn’t feel as solid as it should, as it feels like it’s stuck between lagging a smidge and being floaty. While these two things won’t be a big deal for kids, older players will be a little peeved as to why these flaws were overlooked by the developers.
It may not be the Peanuts game fans have been longing for, but The Peanuts Movie: Snoopy’s Grand Adventure has enough magic and charm of the beloved characters to keep players collecting jelly beans and Beagle Scouts until the end. The framerate and jumping issues might throw off older players, but kids will undoubtedly have a busy beagle blast with this one.