Rugrats: Search for Reptar
|Rugrats: Search for Reptar|
North American box art.
|Composer(s)||Mark Mothersbaugh (also the composer of the TV series)|
|Mode(s)||1 to 4 Players|
Rugrats: Search for Reptar is an platform video game that was released in 1998 for PlayStation in North America and in the PAL region by THQ. The game is based on the popular Nickelodeon cartoon Rugrats which aired from 1991 until 2004. The game follows the main character of the cartoon, Tommy Pickles, who has lost his Reptar puzzle. It features stages that are typically based on episodes from the television show.
It was developed with the intent of appealing to ages seven through twelve. A marketing campaign, which was the second biggest of 1998, was formed in conjunction between Sony Computer Entertainment America and THQ for its North American release, in order to bolster the children's market on the PlayStation.
The game has been met with mixed reviews from critics, though it has regularly been noted that children will enjoy it. It was criticized for its camera and gameplay by publications such as IGN and GameSpot but was given a positive reception for its presentation and was well-received commercially, being the third best-selling game in the first two weeks of its release. It was incorporated into the Greatest Hits brand and sold more than 1.5 million copies.
Gameplay and premise
The game follows the main character of the cartoon Rugrats, Tommy Pickles, who has lost a puzzle featuring the cartoon dinosaur Reptar. It is a 3D platform game which requires players to control several of the main characters in order to accomplish the goals. The game has fourteen levels that are accessed by players picking up certain objects and also has bonus levels with Reptar bars. Players can play the levels in any order, but the more difficult levels have to be unlocked to be playable.
The levels that players explore are mostly based on episodes from the cartoon, such as "Chuckie's Glasses", and contain various pieces of the Reptar puzzle. The game also has a training and activities mode, as well as multiplayer mode. The game makes use of several of the voice actors from the cartoon to reprise their roles, including Elizabeth Daily, Kath E. Soucie, Christine Cavanaugh, and Cheryl Chase.
Development and release
Rugrats: Search for Reptar was developed, with the intent of appealing to children ages seven to twelve, by n-Space, and published by THQ for the PlayStation video game console. THQ started a multi-million dollar marketing campaign for Search for Reptar, the second-biggest campaign of 1998, after The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's campaign for the Nintendo 64. Marketing included television and print advertisements, promotional tie-ins, and online advertisements; demos were distributed among kiosks, hardware pack-ins, and on PlayStation: The Official Magazine demo discs; and images of the game were shown on Rugrats Fruit Snacks' boxes. The campaign took about one year to formulate, and was a collaboration between Sony Computer Entertainment America and THQ to expand the younger children's market on the PlayStation. It was one of only two THQ games to have television advertisements at the time, the other being WCW/nWo Thunder. The game was first released in North America on October 31, 1998, and in PAL regions in November of that same year.
An editor for Electric Playground gave it an 8 out of 10 score, while an editor for Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it a 6.5 out of 10; an editor for the National Academy of Video Game Testers and Reviewers criticized the controls and difficulty, though commented that it was still a great game for children. In his preview, IGN's Doug Perry wrote that hardcore gamers looking for an easy game would enjoy the humour and "silly kiddie havoc", while fans of the series may also enjoy it. He praised the presentation, yet criticized the poor camera control and collision detection; in spite of the recommendation in the preview, he felt that the premise would appeal to fans of the cartoon, but that the game may not. An editor for IGN said that it would be likely to appeal to both young and female gamers, due to its less challenging gameplay and "adorable" characters. GameSpot's Joe Fielder felt that it was a quality title for children, yet criticized it for its camera.
Search for Reptar was the third best-selling game in the first two weeks from its release in North America. Search for Reptar was a consistent chart topper and was described as a "breakout PlayStation hit" by THQ's senior vice president of sales, Alison Locke, who attributed the success of the children's market on the PlayStation to Search for Reptar. On June 7, 2003, it was reported that over 1.5 million copies of the game had been sold.
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