WALL/E (Nintendo DS) - Review by Andrew



It seems incredible that almost a year has passed since PIXAR's Ratatouille was unleashed on the world. The movie itself was a huge hit with audience and critics alike and the game wasn't too shabby either. Incidentally it was also one of the last games to get the dual hand-held release with the GBA version every bit as entertaining as its DS counterpart. Wall-E no doubt provided something of a challenge for THQ's favored developers Helixe and in a world of disappointing movie tie-ins it was clear that they'd have to come up with something a little different. Fortunately for all of us, they did.


Wall-E allows you to play as two different characters (Wall-E and EVE) although you don't change between them during levels as each character has their own levels and abilities. You play most of the game as Wall-E, a trash compacting robot, with the main objective being to exit the various areas with your health intact. The challenges start out reasonably simply; opening doors by running over pressure pads but they quickly increase in difficulty, for instance, having to throw boxes at buttons that can occasionally be some distance away. The puzzles take on a completely different challenge though when the boxes begin to display magnetic and explosive properties. In addition you have to deal with an ever-increasing number of patrolling robots, some of who can make you restart the whole level with a single death ray. There's generally a quick and simple way to get though most of the levels, although the developers have added an extra reason to explore the levels thanks to the inclusion of gold B'n'L tokens which, should you manage to locate all of them, open up bonus screens from the movie.

The EVE sections are better described as 3D chase levels where Wall-E's love interest must navigate through a treacherous landscape against a timer. This turns out to be far more challenging than the Wall-E sections especially if you opt to collect the gold tokens as well. Once the game is over extra levels are opened up which give the gamer some extended gameplay at least, although the absence of any Multiplayer means that you are unlikely to replay the game after the initial play.


Simple as can be thanks in part to the ability to rotate the game arena.


Visually the game is reasonably impressive with a competent 3D engine for both styles of gameplay although nothing outstanding. The cut screens, on the other hand, are absolutely wonderful taking their inspiration from the credits of last year's Ratatouille (that's if you stayed in your seat). They are not only very well animated but tell the story in a way not quite matched by either static screens or even FMV. Great Stuff.


The soundtrack is a little sparse here and instead the developers have concentrated on the sound effects of Eve and Wall-E's movements. Sadly there's little in the way of dialogue (yes, even less than the movie) with only Wall-E able to say his name and even that is only on the menu screens.

Dual screen

There's no real use of the DS' enhanced features and instead the bottom screen is given over to an overhead map of the current level. Unusually, this is invaluable and will sometimes be the main reason you've succeeded at a level. This is because, while during parts of the level a screen is hidden, the map allows you to plan out just how to attack the puzzle including where all the buttons and pressure pads are not to mention the killer robots.

Final comments

It's clear that the developers could have gone any number of directions here but the decision to go with a simple puzzler couldn't heave been better and the short, entertaining levels perfectly complement Wall-E's on screen antics. It also has a well-pitched learning curve and this, mixed with the delightful cut screens and unlockable extras, will keep gamers happy for at least the first part of the summer. The only downside really is that the whole thing is a little on the short side and downloadable content, or even, a puzzle construction kit, would have gone some way to addressing this shortcoming, but at least it's not another terrible movie tie-in platformer.

Pro: Pick up and Play Action, Great Cut-screens.
Con: Too Short, No Soundtrack.
Final score: 7.2


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Boxart of WALL/E (Nintendo DS)
Platform: Nintendo DS
Genre: Action
Developer: Helixe
Publisher: THQ