Paw Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls
Paw Patrol The Movie -- Another Outright Games ‘Classic’
Another Outright Games title leads to another instance of playing Russian Roulette as I’m unsure whether I’ll live to see another day by playing a halfway decent title. It’s like eating a bag of Every Flavor Beans from Harry Potter and praying to get a raspberry flavor jelly bean instead of a rotten egg flavor. Unfortunately, Paw Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls falls under the “soap flavored bean.”
That is to say, no one wants but it is the one that I’ll reluctantly eat, knowing that there are far worse out there. However, this game is not meant for a bitter reviewer who is pushing 30 and instead is for those who are, on average, a seventh of my age. Take that guess about my age as you will, but even for those of that age, it would be way too easy to grow out of this “action” platformer.
Paw Patrol The Movie’s Difficulty Is Insulting
I use the term “action,” of course, very loosely but before I rip this “game” wide open, I was curious to see the developers that worked on this title and it was none other than Drakhar Studio, best known for, well, not much. They are a small Spanish indie studio, much like a similar situation with the developers behind Staff of Doom, another Outright Games title, yet their catalog is pretty tame in comparison.
It’s safe to say that Adventure City Calls is their biggest title yet as a simple look at their Twitter account will greet the curious with Paw Patrol advertisements everywhere. At the time of this game’s release, the movie had yet to be released, yet it is slated for a late August release so maybe it was destiny for me to take a first look at it, huh?
The Levels Drag On For Far Too Long
There’s not much to discuss in the game as there are six levels in total, with each taking about 5 or 10 minutes to complete, requiring a preset team of a pair of dogs dispatched to solve a problem going on within Adventure City. A building may be on fire, so it’s up to the dalmatian to put the fire out while clearing debris, with another mission requiring clear traffic jams as a thunderstorm causes a car accident.
The prompts for each level seem more engaging than they are, mainly because all the player is doing is moving from point A to point B. With no enemies, hazards, or imminent danger around, it’s like taking a pair of pups out for a stroll, collecting dog treats that magnetize towards the player making it impossible to miss. The dog treats collected in each level can be exchanged for redemption including bonus mini-games and interactive pieces to use in the art gallery. Aside from these, there’s no real incentive to collect every single bone, even if the game makes it impossible to miss out.
Even The Mini Games Are Too Similar To Each Other
That is until players reach the minigame sections of each level, in which I use the term “minigame” loosely. For the three levels I played, essentially, you drive a vehicle in a straight line while collecting dog bones along the way. The sequence does nothing to break the monotony and it makes the levels more repetitive than it already is, specifically because each level follows the same routine.
You reach a roadblock that segues into the on-rails segment, you continue through the level until you reach another roadblock using your dog’s abilities, and you continue onward until the end of the level. Even the dogs’ abilities are laughable at best, as no matter what the ability is, it’s usually “point here and hold a button” or “press a button several times in succession” until something happens.
Save Your Money. Buy Your Kid A Paw Patrol Toy Instead
For a game based on a movie that releases within a week at the time of the writing, I, as a child, would be confused to find the correlation between the Paw Patrol movie and just a Paw Patrol game with “Movie” slapped on to the title for promotional purposes. I’m fairly certain it’s the case of the latter.
For toddlers who have never played a video game before, happen to own a Switch or a gaming console (maybe through a parent or an older sibling), and have someone on standby to teach them the controls, Adventure City Calls is not a bad title for that specific demographic. Players within that niche can go for a lot worse than Paw Patrol but it is too safe and boring of a game past the first 10 minutes.
It would honestly be cheaper and immersive to purchase a Paw Patrol toy rather than this title, but what do I know? I don’t have any kids or younger siblings, so outside of knowing the Paw Patrol brand, I’m not certain if kids would get better mileage out of a game over a toy. There are far better games out there, however, so I’d just stick with the toys and the movie experience itself.
Paw Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls is available for the Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Stadia.