By: Stephen Duetzmann
D3 Publisher of America
Rated E for Everyone
Review based on PS3 version (Available for Xbox 360, WiiU, 3DS, Wii, DS)
Games based on kid’s movies get a bad rap. They are never given the time in development to really grow and flourish into something original. As a result, most developers just pick a genre and jam in story concepts until the game is “finished.” Considering these games get such a bad rap, I can see why some developers go out of their way to try and think differently and try to avoid doing something obvious. It’s admirable, but sometimes I think people should just go with the obvious and do it right. Turbo:Super Stunt Squad is the result of an attempt to do something “different” and suffers for it. This could be a case of misplaced expectations, but I cannot recall a gaming experience in my life that has disappointed me more.
I spent the days while my copy was in transit waiting to play a cart racer. I assumed that it only made sense since it is a licensed title based on the story of a snail who dreams of winning the Indy 500. Cart racing games are a personal favorite of mine. I love just about everything about them, so I figured I was in for a treat… until I started playing.
Turbo Stunt Squad is not a racing game at all. Instead, it is a trick based game that is not unlike the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series many of us played a decade ago. It feels like a copy, and not a very good one at that.
You control Turbo, or one of his snail friends, as you traverse environments from the movie trying to achieve high scores and complete tasks and challenges. Over time you can customize your snails shell in some interesting ways, but it isn’t really worth the effort involved.
Family Gaming Assessment:
There is some gross humor in the game when you remember that these characters are snails. Rail grinding on a burrito on the floor of a taco stand is funny, but sickening when you think about it.
Aside from that, this game is perfectly acceptable for younger players. In short: If you let them watch the movie, then the game is just fine.
This game is not easy. The tutorial does a good enough job of explaining what buttons to press, but the levels themselves are a challenge because players have to use contextual clues to figure out where to go and how to get there. This isn’t easy for younger players who don’t have a lot of experience with video games.
For illustration, I gave the controls to my oldest son who is 7. He fiddled with the controls for about 5 minutes and then went off to do something else. I was able to hold his attention longer with a game of Civilization V(which is an abstract grand strategy game).
If you are looking for a Turbo game, then you are far better off downloading Turbo Racing League for your phone or tablet. This game just isn’t worth the trouble.