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Reviewed: Animaniacs Splatball
Author: Chris Kim       Date: December 20th 1999
Page: 3

Multiplayer for Animaniacs Splatball is almost exactly like the single player game, but with the added option of being able to play against or with an intelligent person. Players can assume the role of either the Animaniacs or the humans, playing versus each other or on the same team cooperatively. Aside from being able to play on the same team and against each another, there is nothing beyond extras or pluses to playing online. All the same single player matches to play are available.

Intelligent opponents are really something that is lacking on this game, but increasing the difficulty level does decrease the gap between being dumb and having more reality to the way the opponents play. The main component of the enemy AI is just the pursuit of the balloon and trying to shoot the Animaniacs in the way. The AI will not work the enemies in a team or together to produce a more formidable foe. On the higher difficulty levels, the computer will play a bit smarter, with more protection of the balloon and less pursuit of the balloon, and improved aiming skills. However, even on the higher difficulty levels, older gamers will find this game still too easy and repetitive. Younger gamers, who the targeted audience was, will find the game to be much more fun.

Our Fort, Stay Out!
Want Your Balloon?
Hey Tubby

Another part in designing this game was to make a game that was very accessible and easy to use. Therefore, a very simplistic and easy to use interface was made for the game for children to get into and start playing very easily. Menus are nice and bright, easy to navigate, load times aren't too bad, and stability of the game is excellent. The rather low system requirements are also a nice plus making the game have a wider appeal to even users with a less upgraded system. The interface has been very simplified for children to easily learn and get into.

Putting the game into the hands of a child should be quite painless and easy. Once actually in the game, controlling the characters is rather easy. The default controls have the arrow keys move the player around the map and the mouse acts as the aimer for the paintball gun. There are also several different control schemes that can be used, such as one that was very similar to the one found in Smash TV and another one common to the ways first person shooters are built.

Careful Where You Point That
Simplistic Map
Cameo Appearance, Slappy the Squirrel

Developing a very simplistic game for all users to enjoy, the graphics aren't the most impressive, but stay very close to the cartoon show. The graphics aren't too flashy or explosive, but they do offer a very nice appearance that is clean and easy to look at. Bright colors and well-animated sprites and environments are very strong in the graphics. While there is no real strong use of detailed textures, the colorful graphics will keep any child happy. Each of the characters in the game was extremely well animated and each of them looks to exactly replicate the show to almost perfection. There is nothing fancy, no high resolutions, no 32-Bit color, no 3D Acceleration, just good old-fashioned colorful 2D.

Hello Nurse!
Dumb Turrets
More Dumb Turrets

Sounds are another part of a child's senses that must be very well stimulated to maintain interest very long. The game provides a very nice soundtrack that is reminiscent of the colorful and bouncy music found in the television show. The upbeat nice "dum dum de do do" tunes should be able to keep the children involved in the game. The other sound effects like the splats have a nice comical sound and bleep to it. The voice acting, while sparse, keeps to a very nice and effective use with voices proclaiming "Ouch" or funny statements like "You know how much that stain costs?" that keep the interest floating high. The same voices from the television show were used, and the results do not disappoint.

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Added:  Monday, December 20, 1999
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Score:
Page: 3/5

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