It's often pretty difficult to get excited about film tie-ins (check out our own Mr. Davey's article for a further rant on the matter), so often steeped in the bland flavours of mediocrity. However, this game has the arguable honour of actually being better than the film it's based upon, although that doesn't say much. It is, however, a worthy distraction for the little ones, amounting to a sandbox game designed for kids.
The Game Collection is currently offering Planet 51 on the PS3 for £9.95, which is a good £3 cheaper than the next price at 365Games. You can find the game for £11+ at various marketplace vendors, but we'd advise sticking with the big guns. Moreover, this particular title is one of those featured in The Game Collection's 3 for £20 sale, meaning that if you can find another couple of games that catch your eye, this'll only set you back £6.67.
Providing a neat little inverted twist on the traditional E.T.-tale of an alien stranger winding up on Earth, this sees US astronaut Chuck evading the alien authorities of Planet 51, with you lending a hand as Lem, the young alien boy who tries to get him back on his merry way.
Sandbox games are two a penny these day, with quantity rather than quality seeming to be the unfortunate motto of the day. Obviously, this is a lot less violent than most of its genre siblings, but you'll still be traipsing around a map and carrying out a series of six or seven types of mission that vary only ever so slightly. It should be noted that Planet 51 does attempt some innovation (the demolition derbies are a particular highlight), and it's rare to find a movie game that isn't simply a linear bore-fest.
If you have kids who enjoyed the movie then chances are they'll get something out of this too, and Planet 51 should certainly be commended by trying to do something a little different within the obvious time constraints that come with being a rushed, poorly funded, film accompaniment. But be warned - anyone over the age of 11 will probably find themselves sorely disappointed.
Thanks to QenTox at HUKD