Gravity Falls: Legend of the Gnome Gemulets (3DS)

GRAVITY_BOXGravity Falls is a cartoon on the Disney XD cable channel, and it has become one of my most favorite cartoons ever.  I haven’t been this into a cartoon ever since DuckTales, Rescue Rangers, or Animaniacs.  So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review the Gravity Falls game from Ubisoft.  In the show, preteen twins Dipper and Mabel are sent to stay with their Great Uncle Stan for the summer.  “Grunkle Stan” as they call him, he runs a tourist trap museum called the Mystery Shack in the small town of Gravity Falls, Oregon.  But while the artifacts in the museum are fake, Gravity Falls is shrouded in mystery as paranormal events happen nearly every day!  It’s up to twins Dipper and Mabel to discover the secrets of the town, and have some fun and maybe learn a thing or two along the way.  The show is great because it has a lot of adult humor, but as a Disney channel show, it’s also fairly clean, too.

In the game, the leader of the forest gnomes task Dipper and Mabel to find the missing Gnome Gemulets, which help keep the forest in balance but have gone missing.  But just like the show, things aren’t always as they seem, so the twins will have to be on their toes.  The game is a 2-D platformer where you play as both Dipper and Mabel, with one following behind the other.  Each twin has special skills.  Dipper can punch enemies with special magic gnome gauntlets, and Mabel can attack enemies from a distance with her sweater sleeves.  Each twin has a special item they can use to bypass obstacles, too.  Dipper has a flashlight that he can use to shrink himself down to fit into small spaces, and if you are a fan of the show, you can probably guess what Mabel gets.  That’s right, a grappling hook, handy for latching onto and swinging from hooks, as well as pulling faraway items downward.  You can run, jump, attack and use special items, as well as switch between twins.  I wish the button layout was slightly different, but it still works.

This game uses the same engine as other Ubisoft titles like Rayman Legends and Child of Light, so the graphics are gorgeous and look just like the show.  You can really tell it was made by the same folks, too, as it has a lot of the same gameplay aspects as Child of Light.  In each stage, you must find hidden items for Stan’s museum, and then defeat a boss guarding one of the gemulets.  Only problem is that there are a lack of variety of enemies, and even the bosses have similar attack patterns.  Collect specific items to give to people in town for rewards, and gather other secret goodies and magic spores to give to Soos in the Mystery Shack and McGucket in the junkyard to upgrade your weapons, tools, and health.  On the bottom of the screen you can flip through the famous journal from the show, and see your quests, items you’ve collected and enemies you’ve defeated, and even see actual pages from the journal in the cartoon, and maybe get a hint or two!

Only problems with the game are that while it looks and sounds great, the gameplay is fairly derivative as a 2-D platformer, and the lack of variety of enemies doesn’t help either.  The game is also rather short and easy, but it’s not TOO easy.  I also wish this was on the Wii U instead of 3DS, as the graphics are so small on the tiny screen sometimes that it’s hard to see things.  I think it would look better on a big TV screen.  Even so, I think fans of the cartoon will really enjoy it anyway.  I certainly did, despite its problems.  I only wish they would’ve made it into a point and click adventure.  I think that would be the perfect venue for a Gravity Falls game.  Fellow Gravity Falls fans, wouldn’t you agree?


Kid Factor:

Gravity Falls: Legend of the Gnome Gemulets is rate E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Cartoon Violence. While you can punch and whip enemies, they just disappear when defeated.  If you get hit, you’ll just get knocked back and flash for a second.  And if you run out of health or fall into a pit, you can start right back shortly before where you left off.  Reading skill is a must for the text, and while the game isn’t too hard, younger gamers may need some help during the tougher sections.  If you’re OK with your kids watching the show, and if they can understand the humor, they’ll certainly be OK with this game, too.

Hey Gravity Falls fans, in the comments section, tell me your favorite characters!  Mine are Soos and Mabel’s friends: Candy and Grenda.  Stan is pretty funny, too.  Also, anyone who has played and beat the game, have you figured out what the secret code at the end means?  I sure can’t.

One Response to “Gravity Falls: Legend of the Gnome Gemulets (3DS)”

  1. I should watch an episode or two.

    But I have to say, if I were a kid, I’d be disappointed in a point-and-click. Derivative platformers all day!

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