Atomic Betty Review - The Next Level

Game Profile

System:
Gameboy Advance
Release date:
October 25, 2005
Publisher:
Big Blue Bubble
Developer:
Namco
Players:
1
Genre:
Platformer
ESRB:
E

Atomic Betty

Youth is served—from infinity and beyond.

Review by Tom Keller (Email)
November 15th 2005

Atomic Betty is based on a cartoon wherein the character has to balance time between school and, stop me if you've heard this before, quasi super heroism in delicate fashion. Likewise, the reviews that you're likely to see on this game will have to be delicately balanced between veteran game reviewer/player and the audience that is likely to p lay this, very young ladies who are probably expecting a whole lot less than the aforementioned grizzled "been-there. done-that" gamer.

Betty is, for the most part, a very simple 2D platform game that tries and succeeds in keeping everything basic and relatively easy. You have characters from which to choose that explore levels and each have different abilities to perform certain tasks. One can use a grappling ability, one can disarm malignant computers, one has a jetpack to ascend to certain places that others cannot and so on and so forth. You'll need each of these functions at varying points throughout the levels that you must conquer and will not be able to progress unless you can figure out who has to do what and where. It's a relatively painless process and if you find that you're stuck you can hit a button and basically have a schematic of the entire level at your disposal. If that's not enough, you can have your robot send out his camera and "see" the entire level without moving anything but the camera. Don't get me wrong, there are a few points wherein you'll have fire off a few extra synapses to get it to come together, but it's not altogether challenging for anyone over the age of 10.

That being said, this isn't a bad entry for the audience that it's meant to cater to. The most glaring criticisms that I levy at this title are the entirely unnecessary space levels wherein you have to navigate a ship through an asteroid field while essentially either trying to avoid the rocks or trying to shoot them. Not only is it poorly executed, the controls are particularly shoddy; it also feels woefully out of place. A few extra levels of 2D problem solving would've been much more appreciated. Also, there is no "save game" feature and apart from feeling like a throwback to games from a decade ago that required passwords to resume from a certain point, you also have to memorize character art as that is what's used to enter your password – not the alphabet. So, if you are unfamiliar with the characters herein, you'll find yourself drawing crude representations of characters that might more closely resemble prehistoric cave art than what the characters really look like. Also, the game is very, very short and if you happen to be adult considering this title you should also consider that you'll blast through it in about four hours.

For the discerning pre-teen, however, there's a decent amount of life to this short game and while it won't expand your mind or improve your deductive reasoning by anything measurable, it will certainly be a somewhat worthy diversion for a few hours. If you go into this with low expectations, it might actually turn out that you'll find it's a little better than you expected and might be worth the time for your kid or kid sister.

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