Digital Life: Mickey takes an epic trip into Disney history
Published 28/12/2010 | 05:00
No doubt the double entendre of the title was entirely lost on the Disney suits who green-lit this mostly enjoyable platform romp through the Mouse's back pages.
But it was designed from the start to be a dark, edgy take on the Disney legacy in which Mickey fights the forces of evil by becoming slightly wicked himself.
Thrust into a world of menacing characters and twisted parodies of familiar cartoon landscapes, Mickey's chief weapon is a paintbrush with which he can draw or erase objects to assist him.
But Scribblenauts or Okami this is not, and Epic Mickey greatly restricts where and what you can paint. Factor in an unhelpful camera and frustration becomes your regular companion on the journey.
Yet the visual imagination and knowing nods to Disney history is frequently enough to sustain the interest of both adult and child gamers alike.
If videogames are an escape from real life, why would you bother with the digital equivalent of babysitting? The unparalleled depths of The Sims, the best-selling PC game in history, blows away that notion, making playing with digital dollies as attractive to adults as children.
This port of last year's PC hit banishes many of the problems that bedevilled previous console versions, though long loading times are still a problem.
Better controls, online sharing and broader goals sweeten the core gameplay of managing the life of a family of Sims. Cruelty is as rewarding as kindness, though, so you may be disturbed what you learn about yourself.
Another Kinect-based dance game, Paradise has a leg-up on rival Dance Central thanks to its true multiplayer.
It may suffer by comparison in the looks department but a reasonable selection of 40 tunes and forgiving motion-tracking make DP a decent entry in the rhythm-action genre.
Pokemon meets EyePet in this augmented-reality game that makes use of the PSP camera attachment.
Sandwiched between video cut-scenes with the typically hammy Brian Blessed is an imaginative hide-and-seek game of find the animal using the camera.
But the rather dull Pokemon-style battles between the creatures you discover aren't a patch on their inspiration.