REVIEW – Chuck E. Cheese’s Alien Defense Force (DSiWare)

Saving Earth With A Watergun –

If the world was under attack by aliens, who should be elected to save it?  The President?  Jesus?  Superman? Bruce Willis?  Nope.  The answer is Chuck E. Cheese – the rabid rat mascot who likes to feed young children horrible pizza and dip them in disease laden ballpits.  And how should he save the world, you ask?  Pfft, duh!  By using a water pistol to shoot cardboard cutouts of aliens in a shooting gallery setting.  You know, because actually attacking the real aliens with real weapons makes too much sense.

The story is completely nonsensical and is a wonder why it was even implemented at all.  This $4.99 DSiWare title would probably have been better off without it. Chuck E. Cheese Shooting Gallery would have done just fine instead of shoehorning story elements into the gameplay.

Using the stylus, the player taps the screen to shoot icons as they move horizontally across the screen.  The gimmick is each of the 5 stages requires a specific amount of targets to be knocked down.  For example, three Alien A’s, four Alien B’s, and five Alien C’s must be targeted to successfully finish the stage.  Each stage, however, is exactly the same just with a different target requirement; there is no variation, no replay value.

Is that Grimace?

Gameplay could not be more straightforward and there are no options to toggle sans a Normal and Hard mode – and there is no noticeable difference between these two options either.  The problem comes from how the game generates targets.  Each stage does not have a specific amount of targets.  Instead, targets just randomly appear from the right side of the screen.  So if you are down to one last target, it will just randomly appear instead of playing through a continuous loop of the same targets.  This means the player could potentially see Game Over to no fault of their own since each stage is time-based.  Further, the game ends when that final target is destroyed, eliminating any chance for milking each second to rack up more points by shooting random other score multipliers.

There are also no instructions or any type of tutorials to speak of.  The Select button brings up the digital instruction manual but it doesn’t explain anything.  Not that any Chuck E. Cheese game should be overly complicated but it would have been nice to know the rules of gameplay, how to unlock the game’s small number of Trophies, or how scoring works.  Each stage ends with images of pizzas filling up but this is never explained.  Why are these pizzas filling up?  Are they score based?  Are these pizzas saved?  How do I unlock those trophies? I have not been this confused since Katamari Damacy.

If the game has to tell you to “GO” you might have to rethink your game design.

There are two characters to choose from: Chuck E and his blob-like alien friend guy (another thing that is never explained).  Chuck E uses a squirt gun that shoots fast but requires multiple taps of the touch screen to reload whereas the alien dude chucks water balloons but reloads with each tap.  There really not a big difference but each character is different enough that you will find a favorite after playing a few rounds.  It is also worth pointing out and levels must be completed and unlocked in sequential order.  But given the fact that each stage is exactly the same, unlocking stages one at a time isn’t really a big deal.

Alien Defense Force is way overpriced at $5: the gameplay isn’t properly balanced, there really is no replay value, the music annoyingly repeats way too often, and nothing is explained (not even how to unlock Trophies).  Perhaps I am thinking too far into this downloadable children title but there are much better options for your hard earned five-hundred space bucks.

15/100

Not As Good As: Point Blank DS

Worse Than: stomaching Chuck E. Cheese pizza

Wait For It: Chuck E. Cheese’s Animatronic Dancing sim

By: Zachary Gasiorowski

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