Wreck-It Ralph (3DS, Wii)

Based on the recently released hit Disney computer animated movie, Wreck-It Ralph on Wii and 3DS takes place after the events of the film (3DS version reviewed here). So you’ll want to see the movie before playing this game if you don’t want things spoiled for you. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, so it’s worth seeing. Anyway, in the game, Ralph finds a lone Cy-Bug egg in the Sugar Rush game world while cheering on Vanellope in the Daily Roster Race. The Cy-Bug hatches and multiplies and swarms into three of the game worlds. Now it’s up to Wreck-It Ralph and Fix-It Felix Jr. to team up and stop those bugs once and for all!

The Wreck-It Ralph game is a standard 2-D platformer. You can switch between Ralph and Felix at nearly any time, and each character has his special skills and moves. With his colossal hands, Ralph can push and smash blocks, climb ladders and vines, and destroy most bugs with a single punch. Nimble Felix can fit into smaller spaces; double jump and wall hop, and fix broken things with his trusty golden hammer.

The graphics are really fun and capture the theme of each of the game’s worlds. The Fix-It Felix Jr. world is full of construction equipment and pixelated backgrounds. The Hero’s Duty world is all futuristic. And the Sugar Rush world looks like it’s made out of candy, and you can even see racers driving around in the background! Each world has four levels and a boss, but you have to beat all four levels in each world before you can face the bosses, so you’ll really fight four bosses in a row at the end (including the final bug).

The game is pretty short and easy (I beat it in less than 3 days), but you can go back into the unlockable New Game + mode with harder enemies and new challenges. The fun and likable movie characters are what makes this game at least halfway decent, but I do with there was more to it. Maybe a recreation of the fictional arcade game Fix-It Felix Jr. like what you can download on the iPad, or a touch screen Hero’s Duty shooting gallery mini-game or Sugar Rush kart races. Maybe that stuff is in the Wii version, but not on the 3DS. And no, Q*bert and Pac-Man aren’t in the game either.

Only other problem is that you can only use the analog circle stick to control the game, so it can be a little unresponsive at times. It’s a 2-D game, why couldn’t they let you use the D-pad as well? Also, there are some moves that they don’t tell you about in the game, that you’ll need in a couple of spots in a few of the levels. For instance, I had no idea Felix could throw his hammer until I needed to flip a faraway switch. Luckily they told me that, but I still had no idea Ralph could do a charge move to run fast. You only need that move at one point in a level to get to a moving platform in time, but it would’ve been nice to know.

Kid Factor:

Wreck-It Ralph is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Cartoon Violence. When Ralph or Felix gets hit, they just jumble up like a glitch, and when they lose all their energy they just spin around. The only enemies you beat are robot bugs, which just explode when defeated. If you’re OK with your kids watching the movie, they’ll be OK with the game. No reading skill is needed. Everyone has spoken voice to tell you what to do, and even when they don’t there are picture cues and signs to tell you who to switch to. While the game is fairly easy, younger gamers might get frustrated at the slightly sluggish controls and need help with a few of the trickier jumps. But fans of the movie may enjoy this anyway.

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