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The Simpsons Game review

Solid

Oct 30, 2007

Not so much a cohesive game as a series of "episodes" with co-op play in mind, The Simpsons Game is nonetheless consistently funny, occasionally inspired, not too taxing and diverse. A bit like your average episode of the TV show then, which is why this is head and shoulders above the spin-off games that have clouded Springfield's finest down the years.

It starts with a typically bizarre Homer dream involving chocolate rabbits, and from there goes all post-modern when Bart discovers a manual for The Simpsons Game that gives his family superpowers.



What follows is a torrent of videogame-related in-jokes, references and sly digs at clichés, most of which hit the funny bone square-on, while the few that don't pass by so quickly there's barely any time to notice. Highlights are the backlash started by Marge and Lisa against the Grand Theft Scatchy game, the Tomb Raider-esque museum in Bartman Begins, and the Medal of Homer level with its own version of Castle Wolfenstein; there are more subtle parodies if you keep your eyes peeled and your ears tuned to the snappy dialogue.

Every level pairs up two family members with their own special abilities who you'll need to switch between to solve puzzles, reach otherwise inaccessible areas and find hidden collectables. In other words, it's a lot like LEGO Star Wars and is much more fun as a two-player game. Homer can stun enemies with a noxious belch and turn into a giant wrecking ball; Bart wields a catapult and turns into Bartman, using his cape to glide to high platforms; Marge is able to recruit characters to help her; Lisa plays her sax to stun enemies and can occasionally move objects; and even Maggie can squeeze through tiny gaps.

The main story isn't enormous, but as with LEGO Star Wars, a lot of the fun comes from trying to find every collectible, complete all the timed challenges and spot the gags you might have missed first time around.

More Info

Release date: Oct 30 2007 - DS, PSP, Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2 (US)
Available Platforms: DS, PSP, Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2
Genre: Action
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: EA Redwood Shores
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Alcohol Reference, Animated Blood, Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor, Language, Suggestive Themes, Tobacco Reference

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