Wii

North America

Barnyard

by Karl Castaneda - April 1, 2007, 1:53 pm PDT
Total comments: 6

7.5

Get ready to ignore that “For Ages 5 and Up" tag.

While Grand Theft Auto’s go-anywhere, do-anything gameplay certainly has a lot of appeal, its gritty subject matter prevents it from making strides in the younger market. However, with the release of Barnyard for the Wii, kids will be able to enjoy a watered down replica of GTA’s concept via a male cow (like, with udders) and a farm full of whacky animals that all walk and talk like humans.

At the beginning, players will be able to pick their cow type, afterwards being dropped on the farm and introduced to the prominent citizens, who’ll show you the ropes and equip you with your cell phone. Whenever your phone rings, it’ll be time to take on a new objective. Instead of sniping down rival gang members and sleeping with hookers, you’ll be making sure all the chicks get back to their mother before bed time, or stealthily spraying your own milk all over your peers (which is its own specific flavor of debauchery, if you ask me). Missions will vary based on the time of day, which is in a constant cycle.

By completing tasks, you’ll collect coins, which can then be used at the Gopher Shop to buy furniture or other furnishings for the nightclub you frequent. When the day in the game’s story changes, you’ll find all-new areas and objectives to play through. For a kid’s game, there’s actually a surprising amount of content to be found. My only real complaint here is that it’s staggeringly easy, but considering it’s a title aimed at children, that’s not a big deal.

The controls are also a pleasant surprise. You move around with the analog stick, but the camera is based completely around the Wiimote. If you move your reticule within a certain, invisible diameter, you can aim (for things like the aforementioned milk-squirting), but by moving it outside this circle, you’re able to turn around. Everything comes together pretty well, especially considering that lots of mini-games (like whack-a-mole), are perfectly suited to motion control.

As far as presentation goes, Barnyard is a mixed bag. There are a few lighting affects added to make the game look better, but the graphics are still pretty simple and don’t look much better than THQ’s efforts on the GameCube. However, the soundtrack is great if you like banjos and/or hoe-downs, and the voice acting isn’t too bad either.

At the end of the day, Barnyard is a great game for the little one in your life, and you might have some fun with it, too. While the kid-friendly themes and mediocre graphics might be a bit of a turn-off, it’s still worth at least a rental if you need to get your sandbox fix.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
6 8 7.5 7.5 7 7.5
Graphics
6

You might notice a few lighting effects here and there, but Barnyard’s still a very simple game, graphically. Also, the frame rate can be a bit jumpy at times.

Sound
8

Banjos aren’t really my thing, but I can’t disagree that the tracks here are well-made, and the voice-overs aren’t too shabby, either.

Control
7.5

The Wiimote-based controls here work surprisingly well after some trial and error – the aiming in particular is implemented rather nicely.

Gameplay
7.5

Remote-based mini-games are great fun, as is the sandbox element. Older players might be turned off by the ridiculous ease, however.

Lastability
7

There are tons of missions to be found, and the mini-games you’ve already completed have a lot of replayability.

Final
7.5

There’s no denying that this is still a kid’s game, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad game. There’s a lot to enjoy here if you can look past the colorful surface.

Summary

Pros
  • Great audio
  • Nice amount of content
  • Solid controls
Cons
  • Male cows
  • So-so graphics
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

ShyGuyApril 01, 2007

I waited for Karl's review before I even CONSIDERED buying this game.

After consideration, I still won't buy it.

wulffman04April 03, 2007

Um... really a 7.5, you thought this was better than rayman, call of duty 3, metal slug, marvel, and a half a point below ssx and excite truck.
Ok I'll take your word for it

WOooooah! Hold on there, slick. Don't be comparing reviews based on score alone. Different target audiences, different reviewers, and different genres.

wulffman04April 05, 2007

Yeah I guess I shouldn't be comparing games with different target audiences, but does a young kid who likes the types of games based off of animated movies really want to run around, get a "phone call" about a mission and then wander all over the place to find that mission. It seems like from what I have read about the game. It’s very open in the sense of what you do and where you go. I don't think a kid will be enthused about a game that the action takes awhile to get to. Like with other kid’s games it's a whole lot of action and fun right away. The game kind of holds your hand on where you need to go. If I was a young pup I don’t think I’d like the game very well because you don’t have all the action right away. I guess I’m saying I’d get bored by it.

Is the game really as open as I'm making it sound?

Karl Castaneda #2April 05, 2007

It starts out relatively small, but expands the more you play it, so I don't see kids getting overwhelmed. As for lack of action, there are plenty of mini-games accessible almost right away, so I wouldn't call it dull, either.

wulffman04April 05, 2007

ok then, I guess I was a little confused on how accessible it is to younger children
Thanks

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Barnyard Box Art

Genre Adventure
Developer Blue Tongue Entertainment
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Barnyard
Release Dec 04, 2006
PublisherTHQ
RatingEveryone 10+
eu: Barnyard
Release Feb 09, 2007
PublisherTHQ
Rating3+
aus: Barnyard
Release TBA
PublisherTHQ
RatingGeneral

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