Title: The Muppets Animal Drummer (link)
Publisher: Walt Disney
Released: December 15, 2009
Pros: The Muppets; good graphics; great music and sounds; fun, addictive and simple gamplay
Review: From Disney Interactive Studios, Enorbus and the Muppets Studio comes The Muppets Animal Drummer, a rhythm based game that has its roots in the electronic board game Simon in which you must repeat Animal’s drumming sequence in (near) perfect rhythm, so it differs from the Dance Dance Revolution genre in that you must remember the sequence rather than reacting to it in real time.
Other elements are similar to the DDR genre though such as creating a string of combos which yields you score multipliers, audible encouragement from Animal and setting your drums on fire. In addition, combos feed the rock out meter located on the left side of the screen: fill it up and you get to go all manic on the drums, hitting them in rapid fire any way you like for points until the meter drains empty.
Your performance is rated and you must earn at least a 3 star rating in order to unlock the next song in the list. Unlock all the songs in Novice mode and you can begin working on the same set of songs in Animal mode. While the songs are arranged in order of difficulty, I actually found a few of the later songs to be easier just because of the rhythmic patterns — at least on the Novice side. The Animal side is much more challenging so I have yet to progress very far in it.
The game also features a freeplay mode which lets you pound the drums with Animal anyway you like to any of the unlocked songs or you can even selectively import your own tunes from your library and play along with them. When playing along the built-in tunes, you have the option to save your performance and replay it back at a later time. It would have been a tad nicer to have a soundboard of sorts so that you can toss in your own Animal-isms during the performance, but the truth is, I find the freeplay a tad boring since there’s no real objective other than to self-amuse and the songs can be a tad long for that.
Bottom line, it’s a really fun game for the actual game element. The content is fabulous and the interface is just as simple and quick as the game itself. The game even allows you to individually control the volume levels of the music, the drums and the sound effects (buttons). For the record, I prefer the drum sound level a bit higher than the music. Another winner from Disney Interactive’s Enorbus studio.