Skip to main content

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian review

Night of the living dead


  • Riding a T-Rex skeleton
  • Magic flashlight!
  • Some of the powers are interesting


  • Uglier than Ben Stiller's career
  • No exploration
  • Annoying enemies

You don’t need rose-tinted glasses so much as rose bushes planted directly in your eye sockets to find this movie tie-in even moderately attractive. It’s U-G-L-Y, and it ain’t got no alibi – reasoning, wrongly, that you can get away with this lo-res, fuzzy rubbish because it’s a Wii title. Majesco, Amaze and maybe even Ben Stiller himself should be embarrassed.

Of course, none of that would matter if there were some fun to redeem it, but you won’t find much joy in this creaky old relic. Highlights include riding a T-Rex skeleton around a museum lobby (the game’s split into small stages so you can’t explore), and the sudden imbuing of your flashlight with magical powers, but these are highlights in theory rather than practice. As it happens, the dino provides about 18 seconds of jerky non-fun, and the magic’s more trouble than it’s worth.

You get your flashlight out with C, wave it around with the remote, and use whatever power you’ve selected with A – you can reveal hidden items, repair stuff and so on. You can also somehow use your janitor keys to grapple ledges. Some of the powers are interesting, and with a fully realised environment – and a solid game engine – it would be fun to employ them. But the world’s too clumsy, ugly and inert to really give you the chance.

Jun 3, 2009

More info

DescriptionIt’s solid and glossy, but difficulty is engineered towards the most simple-minded of kids, and the "collect parts of an ancient amulet" plot, allied to obvious challenges, doesn’t make for a hugely satisfying game.
Platform"Xbox 360","Wii","DS","PC"
US censor rating"Everyone 10+","Everyone 10+","Everyone 10+","Everyone 10+"
UK censor rating"12+","12+","12+","12+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Tom Sykes
When he's not dying repeatedly in roguelikes, Tom spends most of his working days writing freelance articles, watching ITV game shows, or acting as a butler for his cat. He's been writing about games since 2008, and he's still waiting on that Vagrant Story 2 reveal.