Reviewed: June 7, 2002
Released: March 19, 2002
It seems that anniversary editions of classic movies is becoming increasingly popular and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial is latest movie to get the anniversary treatment. Twenty years ago E.T. visited the theaters on our humble planet and spawned one of the first video games movie-spin-offs in gaming history. Those of you with an ATARI 2600 may have even played the E.T. game, and for those that did you will probably remember it being one of the worst games ever made. Rumors circulate even today about landfills full of unsold E.T. game cartridges.
Technology has come a long way in twenty years. Spielberg can now use computers to digitally remove guns and replace them with cell phones, and we can use computers to play several new Ubisoft games based on everyone’s favorite alien.
E.T. Interplanetary Mission is one of three new games based on E.T. and targeted for younger kids. I approached this game and the review a bit skeptical. While I am a walking example of a “kid who refuses to grow up” I still fall 30 years above the target age group for this game. Rather than recruit a new reviewer from the local elementary school who can write a review I decided to tackle this project myself and found the game rather unique and enjoyable.
E.T. Interplanetary Mission is the most complex of the three E.T. games. It features 25 levels with all sorts of missions and puzzles for you to complete. The missions take place on four unique planets including Earth and E.T.’s home planet. Each planet offers up new challenges, exciting locations, and interested level design. The mission on Earth loosely follows the story of the movie where you must build a communication device and “phone home”.
Along the way you will get to master E.T.’s special powers including; levitation, heart stun, healing, and telekinesis. These powers are cleverly integrated into the gameplay and are critical in solving the many puzzles you will face as you travel the galaxy.
This visual style of this game reminded me of Diablo or any of the other action/adventure games presented in the isometric viewpoint. The quasi-3D backgrounds are colorful and nicely detailed and the objects and characters are reasonably modeled. It won’t win any awards but it is above average and more than adequate for the targeted age group.
The music and sound are quite good in this game. The background music is nice and the sound effects and speech samples will delight kids and adults alike. The sound compliments the visuals quite nicely and creates a fun and enjoyable gaming experience.
This game was the longest of the three and clocked in at about 4-5 hours. I would guess it would take around 20+ hours for kids more age-appropriate to this game. The mixture of puzzles and the variety of missions will have kids wanting to replay this game even after they’ve finished it.
At $9.99, this is a great gaming alternative that works on a modest system and with so few games out there for kids these days, E.T. Interplanetary Mission is a refreshing action/adventure game for younger kids who probably aren’t ready for games like Diablo or Dungeon Siege. Parents will enjoy playing this alongside their kids and reliving the magic and adventure they experienced more than twenty years ago.