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Gamer Tuesday

September 10, 2013

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: My Muppet Show

Developed by: Disney Interactive

Systems: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod Touch (3G, 4G, 5G) and iPad iOS 4.3 or later

The sad truth is that despite the worldwide popularity of the Muppets, now under the Disney family, video game adaptations of the various Muppet films and TV series have been few and far between, and many of them have been hailed as some of the worst games ever made. The question is: why? Why can developers turn the Marvel, Star Wars and Mickey Mouse franchises into fun and great games, yet struggle with the Muppets? My theory is that with the Muppets being all about the wit, humor and music, it makes it hard to take the characters and turn them into video game stars. That mentality, however, may have been crushed forever with the release of My Muppet Show for various mobile devices.

The Muppets are all about putting on a show. Even if the Muppets had starred as literary characters, crime investigators or Broadway stars, at the end of the day the Muppets are about giving us the greatest show they can ever muster, My Muppet Shows sets out to recreate that Muppet ideal into a digital time waster. This being a mobile device game, the focus is to provide gameplay that can be easily accessible at any moment, yet provide the player with enough challenge to have him/her come back to it.

My Muppets Show

In My Muppet Show, the objective is to create the best show possible. This is done by assembling a band on the stage. Each performer does a special melody that can be mixed with other Muppet specialties to create a song. The better the combination is, the more effective the final performance is going to be. The challenge lies in how well you mix and match these characters and if the end results are stunning.

My Muppets Show

The curious thing about My Muppet Show is that while the original cast of characters do make an appearance, a lot of the time will be spent playing around with brand new Muppet characters that make their debut in this game. This is where part of the challenge comes in. In order to unlock some of the classic Muppet characters as performers in this show, you must meet certain requirements within a show in order to unlock them. Some characters are fairly easy to others, while other require more thinking to get them to appear.

This essentially turns My Muppet Show into a bit of a puzzler where you try to figure out the best way to create a melody and unlock the rewards the game offers. Some of the best mobile games offer that kind of challenge, one where anyone, regardless of gaming background, can pick it up and enjoy at their pace. In addition to the gameplay, players are also treated to fun story segments where you see the mayhem that goes on behind the scenes while the Muppets put on a show in the stage.

My Muppets Show

In terms of visual presentation, My Muppet Show is one of those games where its goal is to show elements that are recognizable to the player, not create the most visually stunning game. The character design of both the classic characters and the new characters shine through in both their recognizable factor as well as fun personas. The real star of the package is the audio. Each character has their own distinctive sound that helps the player experiment with the musical performance. The best combination can lead to a pleasing rendition of a song, which in turn can be delightful for the player to listen to.

Despite the tumultuous relationship the Muppets has had with video games in the past few years, My Muppet Show seems to be like a step in the right direction. It does not mess around with the ideology of the Muppets, instead it celebrates it with very unique gameplay that uses sound to its advantage. It presence as a mobile device game allows it to be accessible and fun without requiring lots of commitment, yet challenging enough to keep players interest beyond their first play through. So my guess is that my final judgment on the game is..

My Muppets Show
' MAHNA MAHNA!

 

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