Phineas and Ferb: From the TV to the DS

Geek Culture

PfPfMy daughter is a big Phineas and Ferb fan, so when Disney Interactive released Phineas and Ferb for the Nintendo DS, I knew exactly who to ask for a critical look at the game.

The video game debut for the Disney series puts the player in the role of Phineas, Ferb and Agent P, with the mission of saving the world from Dr. Doofenshmirtz (all the while avoiding being ratted out by their teenage sister Candace).  The game does a good job of capturing the atmosphere of the Disney animated series including the animation style and the general wackiness of Phineas and Ferb and their crazy inventions.

Much of the initial gameplay consists of exploring to gather the parts required to build a roller coaster, then correctly assembling them.  Players can switch between controlling Phineas and Ferb, with Phineas handling the exploration while his brother tends to assembly duties.  During the game, the boys need to team up and work cooperatively at times to complete some tasks.  There are gadgets to be used, stars to collect, a increasingly complex set of contraptions to build and a series of mini games for variety.  Expect to be experiencing not only rollercoasters, but a snow course, water slide and monster trucks.  Characters from the TV series are sprinkled through the game, and there is a segment where the player takes control of the family pet platypus known as “Agent P” for a battle with Dr. Doofenshmirtz.  Candace is always a threat (you can see her peeking around the corner on the top screen) and a meter tracks her level of frustration with the boys- hit 100% and she tells on them, resulting in having to escape from her in a Pac-Man-esque minigame.

Controls worked pretty well and made full use of the DS input options.  The stylus gets a  workout, with gestures being used to instruct Phineas to search through scrap for useful pieces, or to weld or hammer parts together for Ferb.

Tasha played the game pretty solidly for a week and gave it a workout, but still hasn’t quite finished it.  She found the first level a bit tough at first, but once she got past that, things seemed to click and she’s been reluctant to put it down- fortunately, the weather has been nasty here, so she’s had plenty of time to play with it.  Her favorite parts included driving the monster truck- I was kind of partial to the racing myself.  My thought is that for someone who isn’t up on the series, it’s an entertaining little platformer with some pretty decent mini games (especially the racing); and if you’re familiar with the Phineas and Ferb TV series, you’re probably going to really get a kick out of the game.

We haven’t had a chance to try this feature out yet, but Phineas and Ferb is DGamer enabled, meaning that players can interact with other Disney gamers via their DS Wi-Fi connection (or online via the web site).

Tasha (just turned 9 years old and a fan of the animated series) gave Phineas and Ferb a 9/10; I’ve only played it casually, but would go with an 8/10.

Phineas and Ferb is a single player game, rated E (for Everyone, with Comic Mischief) and retails for $29.99.

Wired: Captures the look and dynamic of the animated series; makes good use of DS controls; engaging mini games.

Tired: Lots of reading required due to lack of spoken dialogue (although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing) which might be tough on the parents of younger players; soundtrack gets repetitive; graphics and text can be a little blurry.

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