Coraline  - Review

Ages: Everyone +10

I almost never see a movie before I play the game. But with Coraline, I was seduced by the 3D effects, stop motion techniques and by the fact that the book was written by Neil Gaiman whose new book Graveyard Story is a likely movie candidate. Coraline is basically a cautionary tale - not unlike the Grimm's stories where dire consequences follow improper behavior. Here, wishing for a nicer, more attentive mom and dad leads to a terrifying result. Scary, because every kid, myself included, at some time wished that we were adopted and that our real patents would be so much better.

Both the game and movie have the same introduction - metallic spider hands disemboweling a doll and remaking it to resemble the girl in the story - Coraline. It pretty well prepares you for what is to come. The game provides little of the story, most of it being narrated, and uses the theme as the skeleton to hang mini games and tasks on. So it helps immensely if you have seen the picture first. Coraline, seriously neglected by her busy parents finds another world with other parents who are at first completely solicitous of her needs and try to convince her to stay in this "Other" world.

There are odd characters in her real world - which become even odder in the "Other" world. In the movie the characters of Mr. Bobinsky, a Russian acrobat and of Spink and Forcible, two old vaudevillian women - seemed tacked on. In the game they feel even more obscure. This is mostly a game of hazard and obstacles. Obstacles to getting were you want to go and hazards to avoid in escaping.

It is filled with mini games and mini tasks, over 50 in all, wherein you can earn buttons. Buttons can pay for clothes, movies or cheats. Some games are timed, and a little exacting and if you want a cheat to get pass them you have to pay in buttons. 5000 for all, but mostly a couple hundred for each. However if you would prefer to use cheats - I am passing on the ones that were passed on to me.

Coraline Cheats (In Options):

The graphics are focused mostly on the characters, the backgrounds are developed only as much as is necessary. The facial expressions - even with the button eyes are wonderful. The motion is smooth even if you look for glitches in these stop motion figures. Coraline is a good character - spunky, assertive and inquisitive.

Fun Factor: Mostly puzzles, little story
Female Factor: Three cheers for Coraline
Player Friendly: Smart option for players to get unstuck

Reviewed by: Editor - 02/09

  • Coraline
  • © D3 Publisher
  • Platform(s): Wii
  • To Order: WII $27.99