Made by Stormfront Studios, The Spiderwick Chronicles casts the player into the shoes of the three Grace children as they discover that their world is more than what they see. The player starts off controlling Jared, who discovers a mysterious book entitled ?Arthur Spiderwick?s Field Guide to the Fantasical World Around You?. Shortly after making this discovery, goblins and other fantastical creatures begin to make their appearance, forcing the player as Jared to act to protect his siblings. The main plot is to prevent the Ogre Mulgarath from using the book to take over the world. The book features prominently both in gameplay and in storyline, as it holds the quests and other menus. The storyline of the game is quite excellent, and is more than enough to hold the player?s attention.
This game is very family friendly. Profanity is next to non-existent, and sexuality is entirely absent. The game?s message is quite good, as it is very obvious who the bad guys are and no real objectionable issues even arise. The game?s violence is very low, enemies simply disappearing when defeated, and there is no blood or gore of any kind. When the player is hit, their character simply stumbles. Magic is a part of this game, and shows up in the form of sprite powers and in the basic subject matter; that is to say, there are magical creatures running about everywhere. Still, the magic is surprisingly unobtrusive. Using sprite powers simply causes the sprite to fly around for a moment and then vanish; there are no ?spells? or anything of the sort. Overall, The Spiderwick Chronicles is quite a family friendly game. We can confidently say that its rating of 10+ is very fitting, and could possibly even drop a bit lower with parental discretion.
To sum everything up, The Spiderwick Chronicles is a good game that just falls short of being a great game. With a bit more time, many of the game?s rough points could have been smoothed out. The lack of a real multiplayer is also a slight mark against its replayability. While the game does have several minigames that allow for multiple players, it would have been much better if the designers had thought to include a co-op mode. Combat is intuitive and very fun, there are a multitude of side-quests and challenges that do extend the game?s interest; although its main appeal is the storyline. It?s really a solidly good game, though there are probably better. But if you?re interested in a game for its storyline, Spiderwick Chronicles is not at all a bad bet.
» By Matthew Turpin, Plain Games. Published 2/28/2008 11:32:50 PM.