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The Adventures of Cookie & Cream
Review By:  Christopher Coey
Developer:   From Software
Publisher:   Agetec
# of Players:   1-4
Genre:   Platform
ESRB:   Everyone
Date Posted:   10-08-01

I play a lot of video games. A whole lot. And it's often difficult to justify all these hours of play to my girlfriend. It's not that she's against video games in general, she just doesn't want to play anything that involves shooting or blowing anything up. When I read the back of the box for Cookie and Cream I thought, "this is perfect." An inoffensive game with cute characters and a cool concept that's not only multi-player, but actually cooperative. Sure enough, she loved it. And so did I. I didn't realize, at first, just how ingenious the concept really was. Both players play each level as either Cookie or Cream, simultaneously, on different halves of the screen. It's not exactly a split screen (but does split if one of the characters travels too far out of range from the other.) It's basically a platform game: you have X amount of time to get both characters to the goal. While trying to reach the goal the characters encounter a series of enemies and obstacles that may require the cooperation and timing of both in order to defeat and overcome. In other areas either Cookie or Cream is required to push a button, pull a lever, jump on a platform, etc. which will activate a bridge, or boat, or whatever (some of the levels get quite imaginative) that the other character can use to advance.

In general, this game is focused towards kids. The characters are cute and cuddly; the settings are generally happy and bright. But to say that this game is only for kids would be like saying the Mario series is only for kids. Regardless of the target audience the game is fun.

The story is simple enough. The moon has disappeared, and the local people enlist our two fluffy heroes to find out what has happened, and put things right. Players then proceed to hop and jump their way through a series of worlds: dessert, water, jungle, arctic etc. (kinda of reminded me of the old PC game Lemmings II: The Tribes.) If I were to describe all the gameplay it would involve the following verbs: pull, push, hop, jump, tug, lower, raise; you get the picture.

The box says one to four players. I would only recommend this game, however, as a multi-player game. It is possible to play single player, and actually a whole load of fun (I probably got the most kicks out of trying to complete the levels single player) but some levels would be next to impossible. I wouldn't want to even attempt the last level before the final boss by myself. I'd imagine it would be something like trying to fly a helicopter while playing the drums.

The graphics are about as good as you would expect on a platformer. The scrolling is smooth, and environments are varied and diverse. Each of the worlds has unique challenges that require the players to constantly adjust their gameplay and problems solving. Some worlds are mostly puzzle based, slower and more methodical. Others are much faster and require more controller dexterity. That last level, again, is a real challenge, especially if one player is much better at jumping and general timing than the other (don't worry, my girlfriend an I didn't break up over it.)

The sounds and effects are cute. Even the music is pretty catchy. I actually looked forward to the opening sequence each time I put in the disk. Overall, I enjoyed this game, and would recommend everyone at least give it a try. If not just to experience the gameplay.

HIGHS:

  • Cool concept, very well implemented
  • Loads of fun
  • Teaches cooperation and sharing (aw shucks)

LOWS:

  • Kinda short story-mode
  • Needs more variety of games in mutli-player mode

FINAL VERDICT:

This game was a great departure from just about any of the other titles that have been released so far for the PS2. It's not a highly detailed, epic, fully 3D adventure game. It's not another FPS. It's simple, uncomplicated fun. It's a throwback to the old days, when platformers were the staple in gaming. And, it's girlfriend friendly. For parents, it a safe non-violent game that they can play with their kids. For more mature gamers, it's offers an interesting cooperative style that I've never seen before. The Adventures of Cookie and Cream may not be an instant classic, or a new 'epic' title. But it IS a solid game, and well worth playing.

Overall Score: 7.8

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