PC Game -- Over the Hedge

If your brood is still clamouring for more of their favourite characters after seeing Over the Hedge the movie (RJ the raccoon, Verne the turtle, Hammy the squirrel and Stella the skunk), then this game will give them just that - and hopefully buy you a bit of quiet time as well.

You can play as any of the four key characters, taking them through 38 game levels that will see you rescuing friends, planning food heists and avoiding the attentions of the movie's major bad guys; Dwayne the exterminator and Vincent the bear. While the playable characters have different attacks, there's no huge difference in gameplay between any of them, and the game also includes the inevitable "unlockables", like different hats, mini games, scenes from the movie, music tracks and cartoons.

There's a considerable amount of hitting things with various weapons (golf clubs, hockey sticks, spades etc.) and eating junk food like pizza and nachos, which may not be to every parent's taste, but the humour is far from offensive and no blood is ever spilt. In fact, much of the time, you're releasing Dwayne's unwitting captives from their electronic slavery.

But you can't expect too much from Over the Hedge. Level design is a bit basic, and the camera control can be absolutely atrocious at times.

Click here to view screenshot 1, and here to view screenshot 2.

Verdict: A slightly above-average result for a kids' movie tie-in. The graphics are cute and the humour is occasionally funny, but the gameplay can be repetitive and sometimes made impossible by appalling camera angles.
Score: 3/5
Publisher: Activision
URL: www.overthehedgegame.com/
Price: $30 (PC), $50-$80 (Console)

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