REVIEW – Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue Special Edition

A review by Jeremy Hardin

Developer/Publisher - Disney Interactive
Version – 3DS
Price - $29.99
Obtained – Review Copy courtesy of Disney Interactive

Gameplay and Controls
Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue is all about the mini-games.  There are close to 30 mini-games in which you take control of several different fish characters from the movie.  Your goal in each game varies, but ultimately you will be focusing on achieving as high a score as possible and also collect as many shells as you can.  As I mentioned, there are several mini-games to complete.  You will start off with a handful of characters to cycle through.  For instance, Bubbles, Bloat the Blowfish, Peach the Starfish and more.  Each fish has 4 different mini-games to unlock.  The first one Escape, is roughly the same for each character.  You take control of the fish in a plastic bag as you guide them through the bushes, across the street, and down the docks until you reach the ocean.  All the while you are collecting shells and avoiding cars, crabs and seagulls.  After you play through all the characters  mini-games you will unlock Marlin who has his own set of mini-games.  From what I saw, there is no end to the game.  You can replay the mini-games over and over, trying to beat your hi-score and collect shells to add to your total.  Other than the mini-games, you will also be able to access the Interactive Reef.  The Reef has two options, either the Ocean or the Aquarium.  Remember the shells I mentioned earlier?  The Reef is where you’re going to need them.  At first glance, the Reef is completely empty, save for the background.  You can tap on the shopping cart icon to access the store.  From here you can purchase fish, items, and new backgrounds to populate your reef.  There are several purchases to choose from and you won’t be able to afford them all in the beginning.  By the time you have completed all the mini-games, you should be able to purchase most, if not all of the items in the store.  Arranging the items if fairly standard, but you don’t get as much control as I’d like.  You can place the items on a grid, but nothing further.  The fish will swim back and forth and some of the items have movement.  The Reef is nice to look at for a few minutes, but it’s nothing more.  The game is controlled by the stylus and every mini-game has a tutorial which shows you how to control the character and what to do in each game.

Visuals and Sound
The visuals are good, nothing spectacular, but good.  A nice addition to this game are the 3D Custscenes.  Before each game, a brief clip from the movie will play.  These clips have been enhanced with 3D, so it’s a nice addition to have.  The sound is upbeat, something you’d expect to hear at the Finding Nemo attraction at one of the Disney parks.  The audio has a nice aquatic sound to it, which is appropriate for the game.

Concluding Overall Impressions
Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue is essentially a quick way to cash in on the release of Finding Nemo 3D and nothing more.  The mini-games are not that challenging for the most part, and don’t offer much in the way of fun.  Ultimately, I spent my few short hours playing the games just to complete them and earn enough shells to purchase several of the store items.  Really though, you have to wonder what are you going to do when you’ve bought all the items? Is the asking price of $29.99 worth it? For the amount and quality of content offered, I don’t think so.  This game is definitely for kids, but I wouldn’t drop more than $15 on this title.

Final Score: 2 out of 5

About the author:

Jeremy’s love of gaming, especially Nintendo started in the late 80′s when his parents bought him and his older brother an NES. Many hours were spent playing Mario and Duck Hunt. Eventually Jeremy graduated to bigger and better games and systems, like the SNES, GC, Wii, 3DS, and finally to the Wii U. Ask him what the defining moment of his childhood gaming was and he’ll answer, “the day I beat Zelda 2.” To this day that game holds a special place in his heart. His favorite types of games are platformers.

Jeremy started blogging for NintendoFuse in October 2010. He started off as a lurker on the forums who won a free copy of And Yet It Moves on WiiWare. From there he realized he liked the forums and the site and wanted to remain a part of it. He was brought on board shortly thereafter and has helped post news and reviews for the past couple of years. Currently Jeremy has taken a step back to focus on family and school. He assists in minor back-end site maintenance from time to time.

Jeremy – who has written posts on NintendoFuse.