Arthur And The Invisibles

You'll see straight through this cheap tie-in

When we found out that famous French film director Luc Besson (whose work includes Leon, The Fifth Element and the upcoming Hitman movie) was making the big-budget CGI film upon which this game was based, it sounded like a promising start - until we found out that the film was about a bunch of tiny people who live in the garden and go by the name 'the Invisibles'. We can't remember the last time we played a game that made us feel so much like the new Victor Meldrew - we said "I don't believe it" more times than we could count. And we can count all the way to 31.


With the exception of Lego Star Wars, we struggle to think of a game where having to swap between characters in order to solve puzzles doesn't end up being as tedious as An Audience With Alan Shearer. On paper, though, this probably sounded good: "I know, we'll make it so the one with the dandelion head can climb well, the stunted goblin can fire projectiles and hide behind a red flower shield and the girl can hack through spider webs."

Unfortunately, there are loads of puzzles which involve two characters standing on switches to open doors for the third to walk through - only for you to then find yourself confronted with an obstacle unpassable by the character you're controlling, leading to more backtracking than a lost rambler and loads of Victor Meldrew moments.

Block party
The warning signs are there from the start, in the form of a tutorial that explains just how to weigh down those switches with blocks. Gosh, that's a tricky one, eh? Someone call Carol Vorderman. As you continue, it's hard to decide which of the unlikeable characters to default to - the one who has a gun that needs charging up for five seconds before it locks onto an enemy, the one with the sword or the one who would be able to climb out of the way of danger - were you able to move the camera in order to see said danger in the first place. Gnngh.

It's not all bad. Visually, Arthur is a garden wonderland, albeit populated by midgets who talk like upper-class Smurfs. And the combat's deceptively complex. Compared to some of the dirge that comes out for kids, Arthur has more depth than most. But it's not enough - the actual amount of fun you'll have playing is as miniscule as the Invisibles themselves. An adult-difficulty kids game that makes you swear like an OAP? No, thanks

The verdict

Overall Pretty enough, but the whole thing feels needlessly difficult instead of any fun. Don't bother.

PlayStation 2