Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Format: PS2
Take 2/Global Star Software

5 026555 303897
Age Restrictions: 7+
22 July 2005

Step inside the magical world of Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory. Based on the feature film directed by Tim Burton and the classic Roald Dahl book, the game allows players to explore deep inside the factory and play the beloved story as Charlie Bucket. Find a Golden Ticket and, along with four other children, win a personal tour of Willy Wonka's factory guided by the notorious and reclusive candy-maker himself. Embark on a fantastic adventure exploring the many extraordinary environments of the factory, including some from the book that do not appear in the film...

In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you get the chance to discover what happens after the other children, greed-driven and unrestrained, wreak havoc throughout the factory. Then save the chocolate factory from their destruction by solving puzzles and using inventive candy powers.

By helping the Oompa-Loompas and restoring order to the factory, Charlie can earn the respect of Willy Wonka and win an unexpected prize. Acquire incredible abilities by using fantastic new candies in order to save the factory. Stop the "rotten" children from causing chaos and destruction throughout the candy factory. Repair huge, bizarre candy-making machines by solving puzzles and enlisting the help of the Oompa-Loompas. Explore numerous rooms and environments inside Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.

Bearing in mind that this is a kids game, this is quite well conceived. It's not too taxing for the little ones to get their heads around and it does neatly follow Roald Dahl's original tale.

You start the game as Charlie Bucket and have to race after a $10 bill that is flying around the back streets. Why are you chasing this money? Well, you are from a poor family and you want the money to help your relatives, as well as buying a Wonka bar to see if you can find the last golden ticket. Although, a thoughtful 14-year-old pointed out to me that you pass at least two boxes of Wonka bars that have fallen off lorries, so why not open them and take the chocolate?

Once you are inside the factory the game takes a neat twist and has you helping Willy Wonka to get the other children out of trouble. To do this you need to employ the help of the different types of Oompa-Loompas that are wandering around the factory. Some are skilled at repairing machines, others can reach sweets trapped in tall trees, and some are skilled at working the complexed looking contraptions that make the sweets.

The majority of the levels are very much a kind of trial and error affair. It's not always clear what you are supposed to do, although Charlie's grandfather is always on hand to lend a helpful hint.

My only real complaint is that it is not possible to reconfigure the controls. This meant that I had problems rotating the camera - when I wanted it to go one way, it went the other. This made some of the more advanced levels really tricky.

But what it all boils down to, is a neat little game that will appeal to fans of the movie, as well as Roald Dahl fanatics.

Nick Smithson

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