Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm Review
Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm is a side scrolling, 3D puzzle game featuring the cutesy cast of the hit Flash series of the same name. (Minus the False Alarm) First of, let it be known; this is not for kids despite the cutesy name. Whereas the Flash series is known for its over the top gore and unbelievable injuries caused by and to the cutesy animals, False Alarm will be known for its poor controls and short length.
The aim of this puzzle game is to guide the wandering cast of the show through a series of puzzles to reach the end. It’s basically Lemmings with a cutesy front. You need to make sure that each of your critters makes it to the other side with all limbs intact, which is ironic to say when the Flash series featured as many dismemberments, bludgeonings and catastrophe as they could fit in. To guide your critters through the obstacles you have 4 powers: Nitro, Ice, Fire and Action; each assigned to one of the face buttons. Nitro blows things up in the friend’s path, ice is used to block vents or freeze your friends in place, fire is mainly used to speed up your critters and action pulls levers or presses buttons.
Now this is where the problems start to arise. The controls are terrible. Moving across the screen feels incredibly slow, which is not useful when you need to move an obstacle before the friends get there. Also, the powers never actually hit where you want them to, which also is a huge annoyance. (especially in some of the later levels) The friends have some of the worst AI I have ever seen. The friends will end up getting stuck behind parts of the environment or even begin to wander towards the beginning.
The game has a length of around an hour and a half, which is extremely poor even for an Arcade game. The 30 levels will not take you long to plough through. You may feel the need to go through the game again to earn all the gold medals, but it’s a bit pointless. The unimaginative levels will take you about 3-5 minutes to figure out: what to do and get the friends towards the end.
The graphics are simple yet colourful, mimicing the Flash series’ unique look. When they get injured, some nice gory injuries appear such as bloody eyes or brains peeking out. The music is cheerfully annoying and unbelievably repetitive. The characters don’t even talk–instead–a painfully annoying squeak.
Happy Tree Friends can be fun. This fun is mainly when you lead the friends to a bloody end, recreating the gore of the series. The bonus episode featuring the candy addicted squirrel, Nutty, is funny but is not worth the 800 MS points. Fans of the series won’t enjoy this, nor will people unassociated with the series. Save your 800 MS points for something better.