Another week, another family-friendly-videogame-based-on-an-animated-blockbuster-arriving-just-in-time-for-Christmas.
But while most spin-offs aimed at a pre-teen audience do little more than retell a familiar tale in the simplest way possible, Happy Feet at least allows kids to follow in the footsteps of the film’s impossibly cute star.
Using a standard dance mat – doubtless discarded after your kids or younger siblings grew tired of grooving to Kylie or The Darkness in Dancing Stage – players can get down to the movie’s irresistibly perky soundtrack, these hoedowns in turn mirroring key moments from Mumble’s big screen escapades, such as his difficult birth or sickly-sweet attempts to win new friends.
Naturally, aside from these hilarious dance-offs Happy Feet is a typically garish kids’ adventure, packed with basic mini-games, perilous swimming challenges and fast-paced belly-sliding sequences that allow you get to grips with the penguin hero’s natural skills.
Nothing spectacular then, but Happy Feet’s charming graphics and selection of two-player modes help it nudge ahead of most kids’ titles battling for your cash as the festive season approaches.
Reviewed by David McComb