Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius: Attack of the Twonkies is your basic young kid styled platform experience. Based on the popular 3D cartoon series, players take control of the young, but frighteningly intelligent, Jimmy Neutron. Just like in the cartoon, Jimmy must use this vast well of creative thinking to invent science-fiction tools and accessories. In this game, the Twonkies, an evil alien race (they look a bit like the Rancor beast from Return of the Jedi), are up to no good and Jimmy Neutron is the world’s only hope.
Levels mostly consist of side-scrolling 2D platforming. During these levels, the player must collect green neutron molecules, along with other common household items, to piece together other accessories. Once enough of these items have been collected, a weapon or item can be pieced together to help Jimmy on his quest.
Every detail and facet that makes up a decent platform game is present in Attack of the Twonkies, but – sadly – the gameplay is simply way to slow and the play control is slack and unresponsive. Jimmy walks at a pace similar to that of a crippled snail. The jumping and running commands (initiated by double tapping Left or Right on the d-pad) take about a second to register in the game. Playing Attack of the Twonkies feels like playing an online game with a serious lag problem.
Goddard, Jimmy’s robotic dog, also helps Jimmy through his global troubles. Goddard is assigned to the ?L’ and ?R’ shoulder buttons. Once selected, he has the ability to scare away enemies as well as becoming a handy stepping stool for Jimmy. On the positive side, the developers have tried to introduce a new element into the game by giving Jimmy a computer controlled AI buddy, but did they have to make him so poorly animated? When Jimmy calls Goddard, he just floats down to his master from the top of the screen. Why? Is he just flying around like Superman up there? Then, when Goddard is following Jimmy, he jumps around like an idiot pooch, which is a major distraction. This dog’s movement reminds me of E.T.’s in his Atari 2600 game.
The background art in Attack of the Twonkies will also pester the player. Every level’s background blends in perfectly with the objects in the foreground. It is almost impossible to discern which part of the level is a platform and which is merely background detail.
When not platforming on a 2D plane, Jimmy will take flight in a side level, such as piloting his spacecraft. These space shooting levels resembles a cheaply made Star Fox. Players will fly into the screen and shoot at incoming asteroids. While this level looks okay, and plays fairly well, it quickly grows repetitive because it drags on for far longer than it should. Players are simply required to shoot at the same asteroids over and over and over. Yawn! This wouldn’t be so bad if it was only 30-60 second level. Doing the one task repeatedly for several minutes is enough to make you want to turn the game off. Also, there is no option for inverted controls. It’s understandable that smaller children might not even be aware of this option, but slightly older gamers will want the option to choose between inverted and non-inverted. Plus, the camera is not in the best position as Jimmy’s ship will often hinder the player’s view of what is in front of him. The sound and music in Attack of the Twonkies are pretty bad as well. Simple but rapidly annoying tunes always play throughout the game. And, during the space flying levels, asteroids make a grating and nasty explosive sound upon impact. This sound effect is so repugnant that it literally masks and overrides any quality sound that comes out of the GBA’s speaker.
It is clear that this game has low production values. The extremely slow pace, the blending of background into foreground, and the cheap audio samples all point to a bad game. My game even froze up while I was playing. If you want to play a good game, then don’t invest in Attack of the Twoonkies. Finding Nemo or Banjo Kazooie Grunty’s Revenge are far better gaming alternatives.