The naughty little boy Horrid Henry invites us to his first 3DS adventure in The Good, The Bad & The Bugly. His angelic and rather annoying little brother Peter has managed to lose his Bunny once again, leaving Henry to get blamed for it; so before Henry gets in serious trouble you need to help your Purple Handed Gang member to clear his name and find the missing Bunny.
Horrid Henry is a very basic platform game, offering simple controls that anyone can pick up quite easily, with plenty of jumping and dodging enemies to test your skills. Henry can climb, swing and even slide down hills all the whilst disposing of baddies with his Goo Shooter which will get them all covered in the green goo, sticking them to the spot and allowing you to pass unharmed. As Henry completes each world he unlocks more powers for his shooter, like an aerial rush attack or even more powerful goo which offers different gameplay decisions through the limited and very samey levels.
Henry also has his handy yoyo to hand which allows him to manipulate certain objects. When you come across Fang, Henry’s hamster, he will throw blocks at you for you to catch as then place correctly to form a picture, unblocking a door and allowing you to proceed. There are also bridges to build and even a few simple puzzles where you need to move a rock out of the way to allow a boulder to smash open a door.
There are lots of things to collect in each level with bonuses awarded for collecting all of the Chocolate Hobblers and the extra special and hard to find Giant Hobbles, miss them and you can always replay a level.
With the TV show so loved by its fans the game fails on some crucial elements that will upset younger gamers. The main issue being that the collision detection is appalling; enemies clearly some distance away from you still somehow hit you, while jumps are hard to gauge due to the extremely sluggish movement, it really winds you up. The general controls also fail with Henry’s Goo Shooter struggling to shoot at anything unless it’s on a horizontal surface, while the yoyo modes are so twitchy they are almost game breaking.
The graphics also feel seriously outdated and look more like a Gameboy Advance title than the high end stuff we have recently been witness to on this powerful handheld, with tiny on-screen characters that only just pass as the familiar faces seen on the TV show. The game box also boasts of “glorious 3D”, but this is bordering on telling lies as there are very minimal 3D effects, with platforms jutting out of the screen, otherwise everything else is fixed to a very plain 2D backdrop. Having the 3D does quickly lead to an early headache with even the on screen hints impossible to read unless turned right off.
Sadly the “cutscenes”, which are presented in stills with some speech from the show, are also in 2D so it’s best to save your battery and keep 3D switched off from the start. In fact the game just feels so rushed from start to finish it’s almost worth not turning on the console at all.
There are too many annoying parts of Horrid Henry to make it any fun, crossing bridges, jumping, shooting and using the yoyo are all flawed; on the plus side, there is more chance the players will beg to do homework rather than play this again. If your looking for a platform game on the 3DS that the kids will love stick with Mario.
Rating: Below AverageReview Policy
You can order Horrible Henry from ShopTo here.