29 May 2008

Family Game Review : The Tuttles Madcap Misadventures

I am reviewing this The Tuttles PC Game, in hopes to spread the word for a worthy cause. Proceeds of the $20 dollar purchase price is being donated to Starlight Star Bright Children's Foundation. Fifty percent of the retail proceeds from game sales and 75 percent of the proceeds from the downloads at http://www.tuttlesfamilygame.com/ go to Starlight.

...Play for pleasure

The Tuttles Madcap

Help a worthy cause..
Game History:
This game is a first of it's kind -
a game designed specifically with
a charity in mind. Starlight Star Bright
Children's Foundation Partnered with
Legacy Interactive to come up with
a new way to drum up funds for a chari-
table cause . Legacy Interactive just got
done rolling out a Facebook "Friends"
promotional contest designed
to help spread the word about The Tuttles
Madcap Misadventures: Starlight Charity
Challenge. The animated arcade-style game
is being sold with a first-of-its kind national
fundraising campaign benefiting children
with chronic and life-threatening illnesses via the Starlight Star bright Children's Foundation

The Tuttles Madcap Misadventure was voted "2007 Kids Game of the Year" by Game Tunnel,
and received a Parents' Choice Silver Honor Award 2008; and Iparenting Awards "2008
Excellent Product/Video Game".

Produced By: Legacy Interactive.

Legacy Interactive is a leading developer and publisher of casual games for people of all ages. Entertaining customers since 1998, the company has built a reputation for developing intelligent, realistic and engaging games for a broad audience. Located in Los Angeles, Legacy is known for its TV-branded games, such as Law & Order and The Apprentice, as well as for its popular simulation games Pet Pals: Animal Doctor,
Emergency Room and Zoo Vet.

Legacy has ongoing distribution, marketing and content strategic partnerships with a number of companies, including Vivendi Games, Universal Studios, Ubisoft, Mindscape, Majesco Entertainment, and Scholastic.

Developed By:

Legacy Interactive http://www.legacyinteractive.com/

Divo Games http://www.divogames.com/

Animax http://www.animaxent.com/

An original comedic script and characters designed by Emmy Award-winning Dave Thomas and Starlight. In addition to being a well-known actor, writer and director, he’s also creative director and co-founder of Animax Entertainment, which has a long history of working with Starlight. Animax developed the award-winning “Coping with Chemo” webisode series for the organization, and most recently helped redesign its online social network for seriously ill teens called Starbright World.

All of these companies have worked on major gaming platforms, and have produced industry leading content for some time. Their great work on other kid friendly content within other projects is what ties these companies together, enabling them to create a game that both graphically and intellectually interests both kids and adults.

Game Specs:

Game Play: This game plays very smoothly, there is enough action and humor to peak anyones' interest. You can choose to play as any of the 4 characters in the Tuttle family. They all have their own unique game scenarios and experience. There are 40 levels that you must over come and these levels are divided between 6 main themes - Island, desert, mountain, Under Sea, tropical jungle, and sky.

Game Interface: The Download of The Tuttles Madcap Misadventures was seamless. It installed well on my pc. My operating system is Windows XP, with Service Pack 3.

The desktop icon is pleasant and easily seen. When clicked, you are taken immediately to a
full screen, where you can watch the story of The Tuttles family unfold.

There is both keyboard or mouse support. I chose to use my mouse, it was more comfortable. The characters are controlled by pointing the mouse cursor in the direction you want your character to go. If you want the character to crouch down, you move the mouse toward the bottom of the screen. If you want your character to jump you move the mouse upward. And so on. The artificial intelligence communicated well with my mouse cursor. There was a learning curve however, to familiarize myself with exact positioning of my character. When I chose to be the mother character, I especially liked being able to wallop anything that was in my path with my purse - it packed a powerful punch!

Everything is very visible - the option icons, help points and save points, required objects and objects that rack up points - all are very clearly defined, and almost larger than life.

Artificial Intelligence & Enemy Specs: The artificial intelligence of this game is pretty relentless, I could liken the enemy element to many popular platforms of arcade style games, more specifically Nintendo's Super Mario Brother's. Each Level has it's own that are suitable to the environment - for example the desert is littered with swooping bald eagles, stinging scorpions and poison cactus. There is something always raining in from the sky, crawling up from the ground or rolling in to your character, so you need to be on your toes constantly.

Most levels have a predetermined amount of special items you must find, before you can pass the level. There is also an abundance of points that are decided by the environment of the level you are in, such as a first aid kit for extra life , you find in the desert.

You get 3 lives for each level. Each enemy or hazard removes points from your life. There are special items you can pick up that will boost your life - they aren't always apparent - so look hard. Each level has special save points, resembling a book, which allow you to pick up where you left off when you restart the game.

Game Plot: The main plot of the game is The Tuttles family trying to make it to their vacation via road trip to The Alamo (not limited to travel on the road, but also through their specialized van equipped with jet propulsion and wings for flight, and a submergeable body for deep underwater adventures) . Along the way they encounter many hazards, such as their beloved van crashing, deep jungle skirmishes and under sea foibles - all the while sticking it out like a loving family would. The mantra for the game is "getting things done, by doing good".

Each family member is a hero, in their own right : the goofy father Barry, the spunky mother Barbara, the typical teen age, social obsessed daughter Jess and young Zach, who can't wait to be grown up. With each character choice you gain a unique perspective into the dynamics of the game. The Tuttles Madcap Misadventure is a linear game - meaning 3 bad mistakes and your game level is over. Each character must use their wits to defeat enemies and hazards both environmental , physical or animal related. As the game progresses - the difficulty and level of hazards increases.

Game Graphics: The graphics are flash based, and comic book like. They are designed with a kids perspective in mind. I found the color scheme to be very likable and there were no overwhelmingly garish colors, the designers stuck to earthy,warm natural tones. They looked lively on my 17 inch 1280 x 1024px resolution, 32 bit CRT monitor. I have a VIA/SG3 UniChrome IGP.

Visually the level scenes have allot going for them. There are plenty of details in the foreground, which sucks you into the game, making the setting believable. The terrain is textured and they hazards are very detailed. When a player's character encounters an hazard - the character wavers from opaque to semitransparent, alerting you to the fact that contact with the hazard has been made.

You have 6 nicely rendered settings: desert, ocean , jungle, island , sky and mountains.

Animation: The character animation is not quite true to life. The characters are whimsical and a little goofy. Their actions and interactions are pretty lifelike though. You can see a character gripping for a ladder, or jumping to reach a save point etc. Scorpions move like in real life, eagles glide.

Some more whimsical features of the game include Special objects that levitate in mid air. Spiderwebs become bounce able trampolines that allow you to jump out of spear lined pits; Once enemies have been defeated (by being stomped or walloped) - they disintegrate into nothing and become bundles of money / gold or a character specific reward (i.e a "worlds greatest dad" trophy for Barry).

Come to think of it I thought that Barry (the dad) looks very much like Max Weinberg, the drummer from Late Night with Connan Obrien.

Theme Music: The theme music is pleasant. Each character has their own specially catered theme. Each level has a specific theme based on the environment the level takes place in.

Character Voices: The amazing cast of characters can be heard sharing witty one liners
and carrying out the crazy adventures of The Tuttle family : Bob Saget voices father Barry,
Jamie Lee Curtis is mother Barbara, Ashley Tisdale plays teen daughter Jess, and Dominic Scott Kay voices young son Zach. Other characters include Dave Thomas as The Australian, Dave Coulier as The Islander and William Shatner as the voice of the souped-up mini van that transports the family. The voices are very well suited for each specific character. They make the game a very fun experience.

This game is full of witty banter and parent vs. child humor. This game never wanes with a comedic script written with 300 lines, from the creative genoius of Dave Thomas.
There are mini shorts throughout the game featuring humourous interaction between the Tuttle family.
Sound effects are true to life. The rumbling of the van's engine, the hissing of a snake, the thundering echo of a rolling boulder, these are all concrete examples. Each level has it's own charm. And the characters each have their specific sounds, if running you hear gasping, or if hurt you hear wincing pain - all in keeping with the games momentum. I found the mother's exclamation of "Oh we NEED that" or "scratch that off the list", while in the mall were very funny and almost too realistic.

Game Utilities: All games are managed by player name - you are asked to enter your name when you start a new profile, and your top score is saved. When the game is loaded you choose your specific player profile. The game memory is only limited by your amount of hard disk space.
There are no options for difficulty. The game merely increases difficulty as the game progresses. This is a one player game.

Game Rating:E for everyone. Has mild cartoon violence.

Over all this has been a real fun gaming experience. I let my 5 yr old watch me play, and I felt the violence was mild in comparison to many other popular kids geared games. I look forward to much more game play with The Tuttles in the future. If you are looking for an engaging game for your children, that isn't too violent and that promotes family - this is a great choice.

Purchasing this game helps a great cause.

System Requirements :
OS: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista - there is a Mac version available (see below)
CPU: 600 Mhz RAM

You can Download The Windows Version Here: Windows Download

There is a Mac compatible version available here: Mac Download

Starlight Star Bright Children's Foundation : When a child or teenager has a serious medical condition, everyone in the family is affected. For 25 years, Starlight Star bright Children's Foundation(TM) has dedicated itself to helping seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities.

Starlight's programs have been proven to distract children from their pain, help them better understand and manage their illnesses, and connect families facing similar challenges so that no one feels alone. Through a network of offices, Starlight provides ongoing support to children, parents and siblings in all U.S. states and Canadian provinces with an array of outpatient, hospital-based and Web offerings. Programs are also delivered internationally through affiliates in Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom. To learn more visit http://www.starlight.org/.



5:02 AM, June 08, 2008 Reply  

This is a very detailed review. All I can say is WOW!

6:48 PM, July 07, 2008 Reply  

As a gamer and home based travel agent working in the travel agent field, this is great for the travel industry. Thanks a lot for posting an extensive review on something in travel that can be so much fun!

5:15 PM, December 04, 2009 Reply  

This game looks fun to me. nice review, I had fun reading it. This is a nice game. I appreciate what it does to charity.

2:37 AM, March 13, 2010 Reply  

Well the game looks very good. As you have mentioned here it has won parents' Choice Silver Honor Award 2008 as well. So I think the game works fine with children because as an concerning parent we should monitor our kids that which type of games they are playing. I will definitely recommend this game to my family and friends.

7:29 AM, August 11, 2011 Reply  

First of, this seems to be a very nice game to play. I hear it's quite humorous and thus it's exactly my type :)

Nice thing to do to offer 75% to a children's foundation with purchase. Will definitely look into this. Thanks a lot for posting.

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