I’m not much of a Smurfs fan. The “smurf talk” alone is reason enough to turn me away from most Smurf properties (and why I had to skip every cutscene in this game). The Mission Vileaf game, however, looked like a competent 3D platformer not unlike Super Mario Sunshine. You use a special backpack to clean the game world? Sign me the smurf up! And that really is the most enjoyable part of the game. The act of spraying weeds is admittedly a repetitive task, but it makes for a fun sub goal to clear an area. Cleaning up also frequently plays into finding secrets and collectibles. The collectibles, in turn, go towards upgrading your skills, so it all serves a purpose. By the end of the game, you can dash and hover to varying degrees, which lends to some fairly challenging platforming sections.
Unfortunately, the last stretch of the game soils a lot of this goodwill. Once you enter Gargamel’s lair, the game turns into a 2.5D platformer where it’s a lot more difficult to judge distances and a lot easier to get stuck behind objects. And if that’s not bad enough, you have Gargamel himself waving a lantern around like a stealth game spotlight. Getting caught in Gargamel’s light spells instant death, so you end up having to speedrun through a lot of sections instead of taking your time to nab the last few collectibles. I wouldn’t say the game was amazing up to this point, but it was at least mindlessly fun in its simplicity and tight controls. The Gargamel level feels like a completely different game, though, making it hard to recommend the game overall. So if you’re still interested, smurf with caution.
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- 2023.04.28musicHalf an Orange – Mostly We Grow Old Trilogy
- 2023.04.08gamesThe Smurfs – Mission Vileaf