Right in time for the release of the new animated movie comes Happy Feet Two: the video game Help Mumble the penguin and his best friend Ramon find Mumble’s son and save the penguin colony by gathering up a large group of penguins to heat up the cold arctic dance floor. Happy Feet Two is available for all the major current game consoles, but the 360 version is reviewed here.
Happy Feet Two is an ‘odd bird’ of a video game (pun intended). It’s one part platformer, one part puzzler, and one part music/dance rhythm game. Play as Mumble or Ramon as you explore the arctic ice. A second player can join in at any time. Your goal in each level is to collect a certain number of penguins who will follow you, and you need to guide them to the exit. Along the way, you might have to solve a simple block pushing puzzle or make a bridge so everyone can cross.
When you spot a penguin, you must convince it to join your group by dancing. By tapping the button to the beat of the music 8 times (or less if you’re really good), that penguin will dance along with your group. If you find an emperor penguin, you can perform super stomps that can scare away other birds and crush rocks. Some penguins are sleeping and you must wake them up by having a certain number of penguins in your dance party already.
Aside from dancing, clapping, and jumping, the penguins have another move: stomping. By stomping on the ground, you can break walls and spikes of ice to clear a path or find secrets. Time your stomps right to perform a super stomp. In other parts of the game, you may have to press different buttons in time with a bouncing ball in boss battles or dance offs to scare away mean birds. And while travelling to the next major area, you can compete in ice slide races.
Scattered around the icy levels are music notes that you can collect. Use them to buy new songs to play as you dance in the levels. By collecting more music notes, you can level up songs. Higher levels mean more instruments and even added voice lyrics. Some of the songs might make you want to get up and dance yourself, but that’s understandable considering the music in the game was composed by a three-time Grammy winner. Visuals are decent, but kind of plain with all that white ice.
It’s clear that Happy Feet Two was made for kids. It’s fairly slow-paced and not too frustrating. Hardcore gamers craving fast action won’t like this one, but the game wasn’t made for them. Reading skill isn’t needed, as instructions have spoken voice. But some sections of the game may be a little hard for younger gamers, like the ice slides and some of the dance off boss battles. That’s what is good about the two player option, as an older player or parent can join in and help. And it is a great game to play together with your little ones, especially if they liked the movie or just adore penguins in general. No real violence of any kind other than getting poked by mean birds or ice spikes. Happy Feet Two is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Comic Mischief.