Shrek 2

When a game ships for all platforms and then the PC, you can usually expect shovelware designed to lure purchasers based on brand recognition. Shrek 2 for the PC, though, is completely different from the console games, and was developed using the Unreal engine of all things. Unlike the console games, it’s designed with keyboard and mouse control in mind. You play as only one character at a time, and unlike most movie tie-in games, Shrek 2 is actually an entertaining little game, especially for the younger crowd.

11You control Shrek, Donkey, Fiona, Puss in Boots, and Gingerbread Man through various environments involving simple puzzles and even simpler combat. In fact, for most adults, or even those around 13 and older, this is a very short game and can be completed in a matter of hours. However, for the younger crowd, there are plenty of interesting environments and lots of things to do. It helps that the Shrek brand is instantly familiar to most people, and even though the major actors from the movie aren’t doing the voice-overs, it’s difficult to tell, at least initially.

While the console games are somewhat longer (about 10-12 hours) and involve more strategy and hand-eye coordination, the PC incarnation remains simple while adding more humor aimed squarely at adults that will presumably play this with their children. Comments like, “I was arrested for poaching in the King’s forest. It was only one egg!†are certainly designed with more mature players in mind. That said, the game is colorful and friendly, and most children will grasp the simple control scheme with just a little practice.

While a little more polish could’ve been applied—you have to know how to edit the DefUser.ini file to invert the mouse control, for example—Shrek 2 is a good fit for kids, and there’s enough thrown in for the adults as well.

System Requirements: Pentium II 500 MHz, 256 MB RAM, 400 MB HDD, Win2000

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