For those gamers among you looking for a thrill a minute, white knuckled, adrenaline fuelled, mind blowing monster of a game, please stop reading this now. In fact if you don’t have kids you might as well stop reading this too… or an Xbox.. or a Kinect. Once Upon a Monster is not the game for you.
Ok, still here? Sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.
Once upon a time… there was a games developer called Double Fine Productions, and they made a game called Once Upon a Monster, it featured characters from Sesame Street, including The Cookie Monster, Oscar and Elmo, and a magical book. Each chapter contained a different story and different activity for you to play in partnership with the onscreen Muppets.
You can do this either on your own or with a grown up (or vice versa).
I don’t want to give away too much, but you can fly, dance, water the garden and even ride on the back of a monster. The pace is laid back and makes Lost in Translation look like The French Connection. That is actually what I like about it.
Once Upon a Monster is one of those rare video games that takes its time, I know this is partly due to the young age of it’s target audience, but it does make a refreshing change to play a video game that doesn’t involve killing people at 200mph. Sometimes it is good to stop a look at the scenery.
There is a nice innocence about OUAM, much like the Sesame Street TV show and it is endearing to both kids and grown ups.
Up till now I have been pleasantly surprised by Kinect rather than really blown away. To be fair I haven’t played every Kinect game out there, Just Dance, was fun, but a bit girly and UFC Trainer was great, but too much like hard work. and I think the best are on the horizon (whisper it Star Wars).
Once Upon a Monster makes good use of the system and kids love copying Elmo’s dance moves and seeing themselves as a Muppet. Most suitable for kids between about 5 and 11, any older and they will think it is a bit naff, and any younger and they will struggle to work out what to do.
In terms of game-play it’s fairly short, and the game can be completed reasonably quickly. However there is enough charm in many of the activities for kids to enjoy repeated plays, for how long I am not sure, but my 5yr old daughter really loved it and so they all lived happily ever after.
Developed by: Double Fine Productions
Published by: Warner Bros Interactive
Platforms:Xbox360 (kinect needed)
Rating: Suitable for all