I often like to have a look at the different formats that particular games are released on to see the differences. Disney’s new Tangled spin-off games have taken things in a slightly different direction though.
Rather than the usual versions on every platform (360, PS3, Wii, DS and so on) they have gone for a more targeted approach. That means that they have only developed a Wii and DS game in terms of mainstream consoles. I was also interested to hear that they have also created versions for the MobiGo and VReader devices from VTech.
My oldest son (8) was impressed with Tangled on the Wii, particularly the intuitive co-operative play feature. The game automatically splits the screen if characters want to go off exploring on their own—a little like the more recent LEGO games. It meant that he and his sister could play without getting in each other’s way in the game.
Of more interest for my youngest (4) was the MobiGo game. While he struggled to keep up with the other two on the Wii version, Tangled on the MobiGo took things a lot slower. Rather than an adventure it breaks the experience down into four mini-games themed around the film.
Along with this the MobiGo version also introduces some educational elements along the way. Tower Painting lets you tap different pictures to color them in. Tangled in the Market is more of a puzzle where you have to move boxes around to get Flynn to different shops. Pascal’s Letters is the most homework-like of them all because you have to guess the next letter with the keyboard. Let the Dance Begin gets you to remember different dance moves. Finally, in The Lanterns you have to choose the right colored lanterns and flick them up into the air with the touch screen.
My daughter (6) also tried out another version at a friend’s house. Tangled on the VReader uses a similar approach to their MobiGo game but creates the game around reading the story.
There are a few different ways to read the story. You can just watch it play in front of you, or you can read it yourself from the words on the screen. You can also touch the story pictures on the screen to make them move or make sounds. Finally, there is a story dictionary where you can look up different words and characters to see a picture and description of what they mean.
Each of these different movie tie-in games were very different on the Nintendo and VTech consoles, but I appreciated how none of them were ports. Rather than trying to shoehorn the same game onto different hardware, Disney has created a bespoke experience for each audience.
If the amount of enjoyment my family got from each of them it seems to be paying off.
[Header image disney.com]