Atlantis: The Lost Empire is not
a bad game. That may be damning it with faint praise, but most movie based Game Boy Color
games are, simply put, bad games. If I had a nickel for every crappy movie/TV tie-in game
that Ive played on the Game Boy, well, Id have a lot of nickels. When Atlantis
showed up, I honestly didnt look forward to swimming and spelunking my way through
this title. Everything about it screamed derivative side scrolling platformer, and I for
one have had my fill of them. Although Atlantis cribs.
Instead of playing as one
character with a few tools at his disposal, you get to radio for help when you come to an
impasse. Each of the characters has a special talent, whether it be fixing broken down
equipment, digging holes, or simply blowing things up. There is enough variety throughout
the game to keep things from getting too old. You dont use every character with
every level, so you dont get sick of anyone, and I hate it when I tire of the
protagonist before the story ends.
particularly impressed with the detail character design. Ive only seen the
McDonalds commercials, but these guys look like theyre supposed to. The detail
in the backgrounds is really quite nice, but the level design is a little repetitive. You
are pretty much looking at the same set of stairs again and again. Atlantis has some of
the nicer graphics that Ive seen on a regular Game Boy Color title, which is a good
thing with the Gameboy Advance looming over its shoulder.
controls are fairly straightforward: the basic run and jump setup. Theres also some
swimming, climbing and moving boxes around. Figuring out how to get through each level is
actually pretty entertaining. I actually enjoyed trying to pair the right guy with the
right obstacle and working my way around the maze-like structures. None of the levels are
so hard that you get really frustrated, yet they should be challenging enough for younger
players to feel a real sense of accomplishment when making it through a level. The
controls are a little sluggish especially when being shot at, but they respond well for
jumps and moving about.
usually feel at a disadvantage when reviewing games for movies that I havent seen,
but this game stands quite nicely on its own. It is not a game that will go down in
history for forging new ground, but it is a solid little platformer in its own right. Like
with most Game Boy Color games, its over too soon, but its fun while it lasts.
This is a game aimed at kids, and I would imagine that fans of the film might really enjoy
this game. THQ is publishing an Atlantis Game for the Game Boy Advance in the fall, and I
have to admit that Im just a little curious about how its going to turn out.