At some point during the last year, several M&M games where made. It is interesting to point out that M&M Adventure manages to live up to every single expectation that I had about a candy based platforming game: pure suckage.
The high note of the game ends up being the amazingly passable Wii graphics. Environments look like regret cartoon designs, but every now and then, a level seems to bring up the faint hint of Willy Wonka. But only because the design is almost directly lifted from the movie.
The core mechanics of the game, the platforming, feels extremely dated and not thoroughly play tested. It is rather easy to get one of the giant, jumping M&M’s stuck under a floating platform, or randomly fall through a platform. Sadly while most of the issues of the game do seem to be platform based, most of the game revolves around jumping from one to the other. Unfortunately, the design for the platform seems to be used repeatedly, as the exploding bricks and power-up blocks are simply the same thing, but simply pallet swapped to appear different.
Unfortunately, camera control is even less forgiving. While it is possible to hit a button and swing the camera around behind the heroic candy, it must be done constantly. In several instances, namely entering small areas like hallways, the camera immediately decides to watch the progression of the M&M from the ceiling, and without constant babysitting, will remain there. It should also be noted that while there is a button mapped to move the camera behind the character, this is never explained in any way just like every other control in the game.
Problems arises when the game seems unable of doing simple control requests. Double jumping doesn’t make sense and small precise movements are impossible. In a better game, these would probably seem like a massive issue, but in this one, it just comes off feeling more par for the course.
That is before mentioning the terrible sound of the game. I, admittedly, turned off the volume after about half an hour of play. The voices of the candies are not the ones from the commercial, and sadly, that is where the problems started. Another is that when, for some reason, the red M&M dons wings to fly (by flapping his arms, I am guessing, really hard) he seemed to make jet noises, although no form of a jet was present at the time of the noise. Later enemies in the game make terrible and annoying noises, and they don’t seem to fade when you walk away, only to be within complete earshot or not at all.
The game itself isn’t hard, at all. This may be because the game is geared more towards children, but it seems like they would be more prone to give up on a game that can’t seem to let the player consistently land on a platform that they should have. Most of the time the only real challenge of the game comes dealing with the game’s horrible camera and play control.
The boss battles are completely uninspired as well. As an example, the battle with Cupid seems to entirely revolve around turning on giant power nodes that Cupid flies into. It should be pointed out that Cupid has no interest in doing battle with the M&M at the time and is only interested in flying into one of the giant, dormant nodes. Halfway through the battle I started to feel entirely bad for Cupid, as it seemed like I was the jerk who came into his home and started attacking him in the middle of… well whatever flying into power nodes is.
The game did come out at a budget price of 20 dollars, although it should be noted that the entire experience is nothing more than shameless product placement wrapped around a really poor Mario 64 clone. But instead of selling it at retail, it should have been packed in with a large purchase of M&M candies. Say, if you buy a 10lbs bag of these chocolate morsels, this crappy Wii game could have been bundled with it…like finding a toy in a box of cereal. Instead, it is hard to justify laying down a 20-spot to purchase this game separately. Perhaps a bundled in coupon for a free bag of M&M’s could have made this purchase a little more worthwhile, but this is one game that should stay where it belongs – in the bargain bin.