The best cellphone game focused on dancing penguins released yet...
Happy Feet has danced its way into the hearts of millions who saw the film last year, so it should be no surprise that Warner Bros. Interactive has mustered up a mobile game based on the hit George Miller animated film. Happy Feet Mobile places gamers in the shoes (er, webbed feet, mind you) of Mumbles, a well-hearted penguin who's been born into the land of song. Unfortunately, he can't sing as well as his peers can, so he lets his feet do the talking with some fast-paced dancing.
The game takes place across various levels as Mumbles works his way through Antarctica, collecting musical notes to help form his song for his true love and occasionally running across a dancing challenge. These come in the form of scrolling arrows that players must hit in a timed manner to complete. Unfortunately, these segments don't seem nearly as innovative as they should be, wearing out their welcome quick without the addition of any kind of dance pad. Even going up against a boss tends to be grating on the fingers instead of groovin' to the feet.
Happy Feet does feature some impressive-looking levels, and will take some time to complete. Over twenty have been offered in all, spanning from icy cold waters to the zoo, where Mumbles eventually has to find his way out of. The game's graphics look good but the music doesn't really do as much for the game as expected. Players can access a map screen at any time to check on progress, and can replay a level if they feel they didn't do it the right way the first time.
Unfortunately, the platforming controls never really do a thing for Happy Feet Mobile. Although the approach taken here does show some inspiration in design, the controls end up feeling too loose for their own good, resulting in the sliding off of ledges and missing key items. The game does feature tutorials to teach gamers the rights and wrongs of dancing penguins (wait, there's wrongs?!), but only patient gamers that are die hard fans of the movies will really want to stick with it.
Poor Happy Feet -- a game buried in good ideas but awash in bland execution. Maybe for the sequel (and you know there'll be one), the developers won't be so restricted and will present a game that'll keep cell phone gamers dancing around. Right now, this isn't even worth doing a minor jig.
What's Hot: Takes an innovative approach to platforming; looks good.
What's Not: Controls are loose; dancing segments get old quick.