The Playtoons series must have started out as a great idea. Build an engine that allows kids to use an endless number of scenes, characters and backgrounds to make their own cartoons. Well, that may have been the intention, but in reality it doesn't quite come off that way.
There are four Playtoons games, each with characters animated by different people. Only the second and fourth games share an animator and character, that of the french character Spirou and his friend Fantasio. All of the animation styles are very different and don't mesh as well as one might expect. In fact, some of them appear awfully raw and ragged compared to other characters, making them very mismatched.
Another area in which they went wrong is in lack of written documentation. All parts of the game are explained very readily. However, it would have been nice to have a paper backup, as none of the spoken explanations are very clear. Also, some people have difficulty with verbal axplanations and would do better with concrete, written words on a page.
Another area that is somewhat deceptive is within the included cartoon. Players may think, after viewing the cartoon, that this game allows work of sucb caliber. But in fact, it does not. And while nowhere is it explicitly stated that the game was used to make the cartoon, it is also not stated that you cannot make cartoons like the one on the disk using the game.
While making the cartoons may be fun (and actually require quite a bit of hard work), the rest of the game gets low marks for its many flaws and omissions.
Graphics: They are adequate.
Sound: Somewhat muffled in the screens with no text, and correspondingly hard to hear unless you have your sound turned way up.
Enjoyment: More work than you would believe to make a good cartoon.
Replay Value: The number of available add-ons adds to the replay value, but not much.
Playtoons is a series of four linked games released in 1994 that allow kids to make their own cartoons using a variety of characters, backgrounds, scenery and props from either a single one of the games or mix and match more than one or all of them. Included with each game is a cartoon introducing the characters and situations, in this case, a cartoon called "Uncle Archibald", dealing with two young friends who experiment with chemistry to find a secret formula, and end up with more... much more than they'd bargained for. In addition to playing the story straight through, players can jump to any page in the story, though some of the pages lead to others not shown on the list of pages.
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