Switch version tested
Review code provided
In recent years a resurgence of classic children’s TV shows has returned to our screens. Thunderbirds, The Clangers, and of course Danger Mouse. Still breaking the fourth wall and aiming one-liners at parents rather than the kids, Danger Mouse has done very well. Well enough to get its own video game on the Nintendo eShop. But is this iteration more Danger Mouse ace and fantastic, or is it more Penfold and oh crumbs…
The Danger Games is based on an episode from the shows comeback series, where Danger Mouse takes part in a game show that films in the heart of London and inadvertently turns Danger Mouse into a TV celebrity. Not that I’ve watched that series or anything when it was on originally. Ahem. You take part as the mouse himself, completing some of the challenges from the game show in the episode against his arch-nemesis Baron Von Greenback. From the get-go, the game generates a random name for you to put on leaderboards and on-screen health bars. For the rest of this review, I shall be known as Smarty Moo Bones. Naturally.
Let’s be honest, the game is far from the prettiest game on the eShop. It looks more like an iOS port than a game designed for Switch. Mostly because, well, it is an iOS port! However, the controls and gameplay are surprisingly quite enjoyable. As you complete missions (your first is a race against four other characters over boxes and double-decker buses) you unlock collectable trading cards and win coins which can be used to buy further decks to complete your set. There are also achievements you can complete which win you further coins. The card decks are made from an assortment of characters new and old from the Danger Mouse series (alongside a random nod to classic Doctor Who by unlocking a stick of celery to wear Peter Davison style), again making it interesting for gamers young and old. The game does, however, promote a freemium template by encouraging you to purchase coins with real money via the eShop however, which is both disappointing for a young children’s game, as well as more proof of it being a port.
As you progress through the game, the cards you collect become playable characters. One of which for those of the original era, is Count Duckula. A nice nod to the production companies past. The more races you finish with characters, the more you level up, and the more areas for racing you gain access to. Already the game is more in-depth then I’d have given it credit for just looking at trailers. The races you take part in also have to find players to compete against, meaning it is not predetermined computer opponents at any point in the game. Fun now while the game is new, but might become annoying as the months pass and fewer people are playing and you hang around waiting for the game to find enough opponents to start a race.
The levels themselves, while all based in a similar part of London, pose different challenges and parodies of other games as you progress. Avoiding falling Tetris blocks (Tetrinos for those in the know), picking your way through Minecraft style soil blocks, and avoiding Crossy Road style cars are examples of the challenges you unlock in races.
The main criticism of the game is its repetitive nature. If you focus on it as a racing/running game as opposed to a collectathon, then it becomes boring quickly. But then as a port of a simple mobile game, I guess it’s hard to expect more from it. That does, however, make the £4.99 price tag debatable when it comes to value for money. Especially when it encourages further in-game transactions for the digital currency.
Overall it is far more entertaining and content filled then I would have ever given it credit for originally. It’s let down is staying at the depth of a freemium app for tablets and smartphones. If they were to make a full console-based racing game for Danger Mouse off the back of this game, then maybe they’d be onto something entertaining and nostalgia-filled. Just don’t forget Ol’ Smarty Moo Bones at the time devs…
TBG Score: 6/10
Platform: Nintendo, Mobile
Release Date: 13/09/2018
No. of Players: 1-4
Developer: 9th Impact
Publisher: 9th Impact
Download link: eShop