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Thunderbirds Package Art
GENRE
Adventure
DEVELOPER
Saffire
PUBLISHER
Vivendi Universal
NUMBER OF PLAYERS
1
CONNECTIVITY
No
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Thunderbirds

I've never seen a single episode of the original Thunderbirds "supermarionation" TV show, nor the original movies, nor the live-action movie released over the past summer. And yet, I can't help thinking that they didn't have much to do with pushing crates around, standing on switches, a household with bottomless pits in its basement, and grown men who go "HEE HEE." But that's what you get when you play Thunderbirds on Game Boy Advance.

visuals

Frankly, the game looks awful. I've seen games on the Game Boy Color that sported more exciting backgrounds and characters. The main characters themselves look like blurry little clouds, and it's a real shame, because it's obvious that they tried to put a lot of animation into how they move and act.

audio

I think there's only one background song in the whole game, and I'm doing my best to forget it.

gameplay

The majority of the game is made up of ground missions. You'll take control of Alan, Tin Tin, and Fermat as they work together to solve puzzles and complete one room after the other. There's a lot of the typical adventure puzzle game stuff going on, with pressure-sensitive switches, doors, and keycards to interact with.

Each kid has a special ability that will come in handy while trying to solve the many puzzles that confront you: Alan can move heavy crates around, Tin Tin can use her telekinesis to move switches that get in your way, and Fermat can get through tight passages in the ductwork and use computer kiosks to activate or deactivate obstacles in your way.

Some levels let you pilot the Thunderbirds through air missions, but none of these are particularly exciting. You're given an automatic-scrolling isometric perspective of the action, and you have a certain objective to meet while dodging obstacles in the air.

Although the puzzles in the game will occasionally get your brain going, the overall product is just too disengaging to be worth the bother. The dialogue is insipid, the presentation is bland, and the characters move so very, very slowly, adding unnecessary tedium to puzzles where you have to retrace your steps. To top it off, your progress is marked with the deadly password save, an artifact of the 8-bit era that today exists only in the portable format where, ironically, it is the most inconvenient. At least the developers were wise enough to slip in a Sleep mode so that you can take a break from a game and pick up right where you left off.

multiplayer

N/A

overall

This is a strictly average game. There's really nothing here to distinguish it from all the other licensed games that get shoveled onto the Game Boy Advance every year, and even less to distinguish it as a Thunderbirds product. With a little more polish, it could have been decent. As it stands though, there are better puzzle adventures to spend your time on.

final score 5.0/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Ed Griffiths
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"Nothing can kill the Grimace!"


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