Atomic Betty reports for duty, then goes AWOL after two hours.
Atomic Betty is a Game Boy Advance game based on the show of the same name. Betty has two major problems - Penelope, the school bully, and Maximus IQ, the insane genius plotting to take over the universe. It's up to YOU to help her trump this terrible twosome with the help of her friends.
The game itself plays very similarly to Lost Vikings, if Lost Vikings was more forgiving and had friendly children instead of bloodthirsty marauderers as the main characters. You control Betty and either her two school friends or her co-pilot and robot, depending on the level. The character each have their own special abilities, and it's very easy to swap between the three at any time. However, they all share the same health meter, which is where the challenge comes in.
You see, you must juggle each character so that they all help each other to progress through the level. It's also possible for other characters to take hits while you're controlling a different character, so you need to be careful where you leave them. There are also little mini-games that must be beaten to progress through each stage, including a stick figure basketball sim, Frogger with a robot, and firewall hacking. The games get progressively more difficult, but they're not too difficult to complete.
Atomic Betty also features stages where you must drive a spaceship to another planet. In these, you'll have to dodge or shoot asteroids and enemy ships. You'll also fly through wormholes every so often, where everything goes at double speed, making flight much more hectic. These stages are also fairly easy, but they make a nice change of pace from the platform puzzle segments.
The game's story is told in a series of cutscene stills from the show, featuring the various characters and involving some plot in which Maximus wants to steal gold to become rich and...er, do something. The in-game graphics are fairly basic, but they match the style of the show, and each character is well animated. For example, all playable characters have their own idle animations which give them a bit more personality.
The show's theme is played as a grainy digitized song on the title screen, which cuts off just before the song finishes, hilariously ending with "Atomic Betty, reporting for du-". The rest of the game's music consists of tepid MIDI that doesn't grate on the nerves.
Atomic Betty is quite short, clocking in at just under two hours, with absolutely no replay value. It features a password save, which is quite simply inexcusable. Namco, spend the extra dollar or whatever so that players can save their progress, please -- we're in the 21st century. Atomic Betty should be as well. The game is fun, but as mentioned, it's not going to last you a long period of time.