I don’t blame anyone for not knowing Paw Patrol, this animated TV-series on Nickelodeon is about a boy called Ryder and his world-saving pack of pups. Kids love it, adults not so much… and that’s how I can sum up Paw Patrol: On a Roll too, kids that adore the series will love it and adults will scream away in terror for hearing Ryders voice again. Anyway, I imagined myself as an eight year old kid so this review turned out a little bit different than other reviews. For example, you will notice two scores. One for the inner-kid inside me and the other as the thirty-year-old Jim.
Writing a review for a game aimed for kids isn’t easy, so take the below criticism with caution, many of the negative remarks might be positive for kids around the age of five/eight. We would like to especially thank our PR partner for delivering us Paw Patrol: On a Roll, because of the target audience.
- Aimed for kids: It is immediately obvious that Paw Patrol: On a Roll is made for the younger kids. Parents that look for a game that their kid can play for the first time on Xbox won’t have to look any further. This game is stupidly easy and clear enough that everyone will understand what to do.
- Great for Paw Patrol fans: As research material I dreadfully watched a few episodes from the TV-serie and immediately noticed that this game has a lot going for young fans, as you would expect. Playing as the pups, hearing Ryders voice every 6 milliseconds or collecting cute screenshots from the cast, young kids will likely love it because they recognise so many things. For them, controlling one of their hero’s is a magical thing and let’s face it, in the previous console generation we had many, many more games like this. So I give Paw Patrol: On a Roll some praise for capturing the imagination from the young padawans.
- Level story set-up: Each new level is set-up in the same way, an animal is in danger and Ryder end the pups are the heroes that will save the day. You’ll save a whale, ducks and other animals in distress, fans will absolutely love the cutscenes and seeing everything come to life.
- Extremely easy: Even with the target audience in mind developer Torus kept it really basic and very easy to complete the levels. Never will young players be challenged by something harder than jumping a few very obvious obstacles. For adults it is a simple a way of completing time in a befuddled stoned or drunk way.
- Visuals: While the simple visuals are inviting for everyone, especially the pups look cute and heartwarming, it is a shame that they reuse so many of the environments or platforming parts.
- €40: While the game has enough content, it has a price that can’t be justified in any way. I understand that the Paw Patrol license must be an expensive one but this kind of game should be cheaper when you look at the entire picture.
- Never-ending-repetitive-sidescroller: Like one of the pups loves to say “don’t lose it. Reuse it!” The developer must have thought the same with the platforming parts, many visual obstacles are reused a bunch of time, showing how lazy the developer actually was while making this game. While your kid won’t notice it, let’s be honest they are just incredibly happy for playing as Paw Patrol pups, you as a parent must “yelp for help” to not fall asleep.
- WT*$@?% Ryder voice: I honestly can’t explain you the rage I felt for hearing main characters voice Ryder for the Gazillionth time. I kid you not when I say that I heard the sentence “collect as many dog biscuits as you can” six times in one single minute! Throughout the game, Ryder keeps saying the exact same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. I swear, I wanted to glue both my ears on trucks so they could be tear off when they drove away. Absolutely atrocious, in my twenty year old gaming career I never experienced worse voice acting, you’ll want to break a cucumber in half and put it in your ears. I understand that the target audience from this game needs a lot of guidance while playing but this is simply overdoing it.
Paw Patrol: On a Roll SCORE: 65% (target audience) 36% (older kids (12+) + adults)
I thought long about publishing Paw Patrol with two seperate scores, I feel that a game like this deserves to be scored in two ways. The target audience and normal gamers. For the young gamers that are still exploring Xbox Paw Patrol: On a Roll is perfect, but at the same time I feel that other games that aimed for the same audience are much more fun for parents. Ryders voice and the repetitive nature are the main villains for ruining the gameplay.