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Gamer Tuesday

May 7, 2013

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: Beauty and the Beast: A Board Game Adventure

Developed by: Left Field

System: Game Boy Color

Do you remember the days when every popular movie, TV show, or franchise would seemingly get its own board game spin-off? Nothing measured the popularity of a franchise more than a board game adaptation. OK, maybe not, but still, companies looking to cash in on the popularity of a franchise could easily take a well proven board game concept, attach a franchise to it, and they would have a brand new game to sell to people.

That's why we have so many versions of the game Clue, Monopoly, Life, and countless others. The reason why I bring this up is because today's game takes us back to those days, the days where seeing your favorite board game populated by your favorite characters meant nothing but the best (most of the time): Disney's Beauty and the Beast: A Board Game Adventure.

Beauty and the Beast: A Board Game Adventure

Fans of Gamer Tuesday should recognize the name of this title: it was featured on my list of top five weirdest Disney games. At first, I thought it truly was weird trying to turn such a romantic story into a digital board game. However, like I stated at the beginning of this article, this is a cool reminder of how board games would often be creative with its various licenses. So if you were to see it as the digital version of a board game that may or may not have existed, it provides a laugh or two. How does it play, though?

Like any good board game, the title features several themed boards that revolve around the story of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. The Provincial Village serves as the starting point for our game. But we don't start with the village singing about the oddness that is Belle. Right away, we are taken to the scene where Gaston discovers that the Beast exists, and sets out to kill him with a mob of 50 French men. This is the beginning of the story mode, where the goal is to get to the Beast before Gaston does.

Beauty and the Beast Board Game

As with any board game, you first must roll the dice in order to determine how many spaces you traverse through in the game. Each space that you land on features a different mini-game based on the story of the film. For example, one mini game has the Beast dodging the attacks from the wolves, while in another game, you help Papa Maurice build his wood cutting invention. Depending on your performance on these mini games, you will either get additional spaces, or spaces subtracted from your total.

You can probably see that this game is very basic in its execution. The inspiration clearly came from Nintendo's own Mario Party series, but this version lacks the depth, the strategy and, worst of all, the fun that made that series one of the most popular multiplayer efforts in the Nintendo canon. The game was critically panned by game reviewers for its poor control scheme and shallow execution of concepts.

Beauty and the Beast Board Game Adventure

One thing that people did praise, though, was the visuals. This being a Game Boy Color game, this meant that the title would use its technical capabilities to the fullest. At the very least, Beauty and the Beast: A Board Game Adventure was just as pretty as the film that inspired it. The music also did a pretty good job of portraying the tale as old as time on a tiny handheld.

However, visuals and music a game do not make, and unfortunately, Beauty and the Beast: A Board Game Adventure is far from one of the best out there. It still remains as a curiosity from the early days of handheld gaming, as well as a cool reminder of the board games we used to see at the toy store. But a game needs more than that to captivate audiences. The TV commercial, though, was fun...

 

 

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