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"Existe, y me cuesta considerarlo más que un shovelware feo (ENG: It exists, and I find it hard to consider this game more than just ugly shovelware.)"— Zebitas Martinex
El Chavo (Chaves in Brazil) is a party video game released for iOS on February 8, 2012, developed by the Argentinian company Blue River and published by Televisa Interactive Media, with a June 2014 release for Android on both Latin America and the United States. The Nintendo Wii version was released on April 24, 2012, being developed by Mexican developer Kaxan Media Group and co-published by Slang Publishing in conjunction with Televisa Home Entertainment. Unlike with the mobile releases, the Wii version was commercially released only in Mexico and Brazil. It is based on the popular Mexican television series El Chavo Animado.
Android and iOS Version
Unlike Wii's version, there is no specific story, however, the game takes place at a big Fair that occurs at the neighborhood, where the player has to play the mini-games to collect coupons and unlock items via the shop.
El Chavo, Quico, Ñoño and La Popis would play in the neighborhood with a ball, when El Chavo throws the ball at the house of Doña Cleotilde accidentally. El Chavo goes to get the ball back, but as he would do so, he finds a magic book. El Chavo opens the book and the children are transported to a board game similar to Snakes and Ladders with elements from the Mario Party series.
This is a type of game similar to Mario Party for up to four players, where the characters compete in mini-games in the style of board games, with the aim of accumulating points and medals by defeating opponents. The general concept is based on Snakes and ladders. The game allows players to choose the characters from the animated series; El Chavo, Quico, La Popis and Ñoño. This game has about 30 mini-games, which include: Soccer, Darts, Piñata, Baking, and other traditional children's games. The game has two modes: Free Mode, where the player has the option of visiting all the mini-games with no restriction, and Cup Mode, where players compete to obtain medals.It is possible to play it with a Wiimote or with a Nunchuk connected to a Wiimote; At the beginning of each minigame there is an instructional guide on what to do and how to use the controls; These are simple (sometimes), you must shake or move the Wiimote in a certain way or move your character with the arrows (or Nunchuk joystick) and interact with buttons 1 and 2 or A and B,although this has its problems.
Android and iOS Version
The player's goal is to simply play mini-games and try to win them, in order to get Coupons, which can be used to buy new items and mini-games.
- Both versions have mediocre controls:
- Wii Version: The controls are either somewhat slippery (like Tumba y Rebota), uncomfortable (like in Futbolito, Piñata Frenzy,Sillas Locas, Dardos and the mini-games where you have to shake the Wii Remote or buttons quickly ), or downright unresponsive, especially anything related with the motion sensor like in Avión De Papel, that you are gonna be guaranteed with losing.
- Android and iOS Version: Bad controls. They are generally hit-or-miss, as either they are confusing, usually not respond well, or both. In some mini-games they work fine, but in games like Dodgeball, it becomes tedious. Even the mini-game of throwing cans is frustrating due to the controls. It would have been better if there was a stick to move the character better.
- Walking is worse since you have to handle El Chavo by touching the sides of the screen, but you also you have to turn it like a car, plus the walk gets jammed when you get too close on some sides, yet this is not a big problem, because you don't walk much in the game.
- The soundtrack is also mediocre in both versions:
- Wii Version: The soundtrack has some decent tracks, but most are simply boring and forgettable to listen to, just like the animated series, plus there are few songs compared to other party games that have a considerable amount of music.
- Android and iOS Version: Like the animated series, the music ranges from regular to mediocre, boring, lazy and quite annoying. Of course, there are decent tracks like the Fair song, but that's a rare sight.
- The Wii version was rushed, became old and obsolete and also to comply with the release date, resulting in a party game with a lack of content along with other mistakes that other party games do not have.
- Poor grasp of the source material. Only a few mini-games make references to the episodes of the original show or El Chavo Animado, and nearly everything else tries to copy the Mario Party series, but the execution and the flaws of the game make it feel only like a quick cash-in to the series.
- The plot, while decent, has some flaws:
- The plot is quite fantastic and contrasts with the original series of the 70's, yes, the animated series was also fantastical, but in some chapters it was normal and the first season and to a lesser extent season 2 focused on making remakes of the episodes of the original series.
- Plot Hole: As shown in the main scene that the only characters that enter the board are El Chavo and his friends, but in some minigames some characters from the neighborhood like Don Ramón, Señor Barriga, Doña Cleotilde, Godinez and Paty are presented, nor is it shown how the characters entered the board.
- The board is short, as it can be finished in thirty minutes if you choose to play ten mini-games (or an hour if you choose to play 15 mini-games), but the board feels long, slow and boring due to the way the characters move and the other problems contained in the game,which is disappointing, considering the fact that the game costs nearly $30 in United States and $45 (585 Mexican pesos/coins in 2012,currently 1,035 pesos/coins) in Mexico on the release date.
- Although the only objective in the modes is to entertain yourself and your achievements evaporate once the game is over, the mini-games available in Free Mode can only be unlocked once you have finished the Cup Mode. This point is delicate, because even if the Cup Mode has a relatively short and agile format, the mini-games that appear are completely random and completing all of them can take several hours. The above would be quite of a minor inconvenience (after all the goal of the game is supposed to force you to compete several times, if not, because playing alone can become a tortuous experience). To follow the trend set in this type of titles, if you play alone you must wait for the three characters managed by the computer to take turns before gaining back control of your character (additionally you cannot skip the turns of the computer players). At first, it's something you wouldn't notice, but after a couple of hours it begins to be exasperating.
- A considerable part of the charisma of the original series and to a lesser extent El Chavo Animated was lost here, because the game mainly focuses on minigames rather than visuals, what results in few character expresiones (more on that below), few animations (more on that below) and the almost zero visual comedy, in addition to Televisa's haste in giving Kaxan Media Group little development time (then a rookie developer) for the game to come out in the spring.
- Some of the mini-games are mediocre at best, and boring at worst, with most of the mini-games being ripped-off from other franchises, most notably Mario Party.
- Avión de Papel (Paper Plane): It's a pretty rough and unresponsive mini-game because of the motion sensor which takes a second to react, causing a guaranteed loss.
- Tumba y Rebota (Tomb and Bouncing): It's a Bumper Balls rip-off from the first Mario Party. Here, your goal is to get the other characters out of the arena, but the controls are quite slippery (even more than Bumper Balls), and can cause you to accidentally knock yourself out of the arena.
- Piñata Frenzy: It's self-explanatory, all you have to do is shake the control like crazy to break the piñatas and sometimes you have to press the A button (or the B button) to jump to reach some of the piñatas.
- Futbolito (Mini Soccer): It simply doesn't respond well. You can see that you throw the ball, but it does not react at all, and the artificial intelligence is delayed.
- Colorama: Turn the cylinders to match the colors to those in the central cylinder, the difficulty is minimal because you take a lot of advantage from the AI, for example, you can match the colors eight times and AI only matches the colors one time.
- Ruleta de palomitas (Popcorn Roulette): Find as many popcorn as possible, selecting the correct container, it's easy, as you can simply keep your finger in the container with lots of popcorn and thus easily win and get a medal.
- Aros (Rings): Enter the game of Señor Barriga, where you will have to throw rings at the bottle necks to score points.The problem with this mini-game is the AI, which is very demanding, more on that later.
- Dardos (Darts):The controls are terrible and hard, time is very little and it's almost impossible to beat AI because of the problems mentioned above.
- There are also some flawed mini-games, such as those that ask you to shake the Wii Remote like crazy, without obeying a specific type of movement, and there are times when it is not clear what you must do to win a challenge, whether to shake faster, harder or with greater distance. These challenges are so obtuse that you could end up looking like Don Ramón, stomping in a tantrum; It is unfortunate, because if it had been developed with a clearer focus on movements, the gameplay would have been more entertaining.
- Most mini-games are quite easy and simple as many consist of using the control to throw objects or are based on clichés, such as collecting animals to take them to a corner, and the mini-games do not have a decent challenge that's really worth buy the game, since the reasons why some mini-games are difficult is because some minigames are based on artificial difficulty, ruin their concept and also the idea of an El Chavo video game, some examples of this are the unbalanced and poorly polished AI (More of that below) or controls or the mini game has a short description or because the mini game it's poorly programmed, which is unfair, considering the price of the game.
- Some mini-games have a slow pace, even those that last less than thirty-five seconds, for example, Tomb and Bounce and Paper Plane, plus the rhythm of mini-games is sometimes unnecessarily fast, like Colorama, where you only match less than ten colors of the center cylinder and the mini-game it's over, plus matching the colors of the center cylinder one time only takes at least five seconds, there's also Darts, where the characters manage to hit the target many times and there's very little time that will make it hard for you to win a medal.
- Poor graphics for a late Wii game. The shadows of the game, the characters, lighting and the maps look like of a game of a fifth or sixth generation console (like the Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, a launch title for the Nintendo GameCube or a launch title for the PlayStation 2), which is unacceptable, because the game was released decades after these consoles came out in the market.
- The lighting ruins the color palette and aesthetics a little, making them darker (this is ironic, as the game tries to be as colorful as possible), it also ruins the characters' models, making them look like plastic dolls.
- Some textures are compressed, so they look dirty, like the windows in the mini-game Tendederos (Clothesline).
- In particular, the models of Quico, Ñoño and La Popis look ugly, although El Chavo looks more decent, it still looks like a plastic doll.
- The board design is bad, it's just short and it's not attractive, something other games like Mario Party manage to avoid with their colorful, sprawling and attractive boards,it's a shame because the animated series is colorful and creative and they were able to rely on something that referenced the original series or the animated.
- The characters animations, although the animations are well animated, they are very limited, as there are very few expressions of the characters and there are few victory animations, in fact, there is no animation when a character goes down or climbs a ladder, they just make the victory animation and the character are teleport to another place on the board.
- There are also not enough expressions, and sometimes the characters do not blink, which looks weird, besides that because of this, the characters hardly express anything
- There are few voice recordings of the characters (even when the game is set to English and/or Portuguese) and they are repeated throughout the game, which can be annoying, in addition, some audio clips of the characters are poorly recorded.
- The idea of translating the game into English is a somewhat silly decision, due to the limited production of the game, it was not marketed in other countries outside of Mexico and Brazil, so it was not so necessary.
- Little variety of modes, with the only modes out there being Cup Mode (that as its name indicates, it is an "extensive" competition full of challenges), and Free Mode (which allows you to enjoy the mini-games at your discretion without having to go through the board and instead, you simply navigate through a minimalist menu).
- The character roster is lacking. It has only four characters (like in Mario Party Advance), with the rest of the characters like Paty or Godinez being background characters. There are not even any unlockable characters that could make the game worth some time.
- Some mini-games can cause frame drops, resulting in slowdowns, and possibly losing due to this, with the worst case of frame drop being Tumba y Rebota, because the pace of the mini-game is slow, and can drag it on. And not only that, but the sound effects get slowed down too, making then a pain to listen.
- The sound effects for the most part are generic and easy to forget, and they are quite loud, that you cannot even hear what the characters are saying.
- The game only has twenty-five mini-games (thirty mini-games if you count the Final and Extra mini-games), and depending on the duration of the Cup Mode, the mini-games can become very repetitive and tedious, something that other party games like Mario Party managed to avoid, hence why they are fun. According to Zebitas Martinex, the game may have had more mini-games that made references to the show, like a mini-game with Don Ramon's camera, a mini-game to take out a boxing glove, flying with balloons, Bowling, square balls, the trunks, and a few others.
- In a commercial,the text "28 fun challenges" is displayed, when in fact there are 30 minigames, although this may be because the development team was developing the last two minigames.
- As mentioned before, there's only one board, which can be finished in 30 minutes or even less, wasting the potential of making more boards that make references to the franchise. It is rumored that the reason the developers of Kaxan Media Group decided to make only one board was so that the game would be released before the Wii became obsolete.
- As mentioned before,The game was not marketed outside of Mexico and Brazil (such as El Chavo Kart), because of this the game can become rare to find in other countries, so it may cost $30 for a copy in decent state of the game instead of the 17$ it costs in Mexico for a used copy.
- According to many rumours, the reason of the exaggerated price is because the game production was very limited, and since it was sold in only two countries, it is even more limited and hard to get in another countries.
- Most of the mini-games have little explanation, making them frustrating and more likely to lose,this is much worse for difficult minigames, the worst part is that there's no way to practice the mini-games. Don't know how a mini-game works? Too bad, there isn't a single practice mode for this game at all. It just relies on luck only, Which is worse for younger players.
- Artificial Intelligence is a tremendous unbalanced Disasters which is not well polished and results in several problems:
- The AI can become excessively demanding, to the point of hindering your performance in the mini-games. An exemplary case is the mini-game where you must throw hoops towards a group of pots. It is evident that you must resort to your dexterity, but even if you are skilled with the movements of the Wii Remote, it is extremely difficult to overcome the precision and speed of your opponents.
- The AI can also be very easy to beat, because it is not very well polished, besides that sometimes they are slow or they just don't try, so it results in you being able to win medals easily.
- The AI sometimes doesn't even respond. Zebitas Martinex found that in a mini-game he was playing, where La Popis stood still doing nothing.
- The ending in Cup Mode are just images of the characters coming out of the book that teleports them and celebrating with background music, which is somewhat boring and disappointing because the start of the game and the story had an animation, not images with a background music. This could be also a hint that the game was rushed to the market.
Android and iOS Version
- The games are either extremely simple, like the Shooting Gallery or finding the right object, while others are frustrating, like the Dodgeball mini-game, due of the mentioned control issues.
- You must have a decent score to get Coupons and buy things in the store, but due of the control issues that you will experience in nearly all mini-games, you're going to have a hard time getting anything from there.
- The collision in the Trampoline mini-game is quite bad. You may be bouncing at first, but then you go through the trampolines and fall.
- The Google Play Games achievements are easy to obtain and don't pose a big challenge at least if you don't care about the Very Rare achievements.
- Most sound effects (such as coins, objects and buttons) are unnecessarily noisy and rocky, which may bother you.
- The characters' animations are well done, even though there are few animations.
- The aesthetics and colors are interesting and colorful, even though poor lighting ruins them a little, they still look decent and capture the color palette and aesthetics of the animated series in a decent way.
- Fortunately, this game emphasizes the participation of other players, so unless if you don't have someone to play with you, you can at least avoid the AI.
- Although most minigames are not very creative and are boring and clichés, some mini-games are decent or fun like Sillas Locas (Crazy Chairs),a minigame where Doña Cleotilde blows up the chairs and puts on a music and when the music is stop, players quickly have to sit on the chairs, Tira al Payaso (Throw the clown),a mini-game of shifts, where a player it's on a mobile platform where the other players have to shoot him for the player to fall, Decora el pan (Decorate the bread),a frantic minigame where you have to decorate the breads the way shown in the center and a few others.
- The interesting thing about the mini-games is the execution. To exemplify, a hen hunt, which implies depositing them on an egg and thus causing the chick to hatch; The peculiar aspect is that you can steal birds from your companions as many times as you want, and in fact, you are expected to do so if you want to win.
- The voice acting is acceptable, despite being too repetitive.
- Almost all mini-games are at least easy to learn, giving accessibility for younger players to play them too.
- Decent multiplayer entertainment. In fact, most mini-games are more fun and fair because the game emphasizes multiplayer as stated above, so you can play with your family or friends in a fairer way than the AI.
- Decent story, despite their problems mentioned in BQ#3.
- The value of repetition is decent, even though how slow the characters move and that the challenges and mini-games appear randomly ruins it a little bit.
Android and iOS Version
- Decent mini-games.
- Good graphics by Android and iOS standards. It even maintains the artistic style.
- Similarly to the Wii version, the simple mini-games are easy to learn, don't have any control issues, and are easy to get coupons.
- The dialogue and text boxes are fun and manage to have the essence of the animated series and a bit of the original show.
- You can use in the game items if you play or you can get them in the store, and the items work well.
The game received mostly mixed-to-negative reviews from critics, with more negative reception from players. On LevelUp, it received a score of 6/10, due to little variety of mini-games, almost no dialogue, insufficient explanations for certain challenges, repetitive music, the artificial intelligence and the little content. Some reviewers on YouTube were much critical with the game and gave it lower scores, like Zebitas Martinex, who considered the Wii version unacceptable for Wii standards due of its flaws, with a small warmer reception for the Android and iOS version, despite being critical on the bad controls.
- In early 2018, the mobile version was removed from the App Store and Google Play, alongside with the mobile version of El Chavo Kart because Televisa wanted to give a new image of El Chavo with the release of El Chavo Kart 2020 version and also because of their poor reception that the two mobile games had.
- The Wii version is usually used as a joke because of how bad it is, the absurd concept, being easy or sometimes frustrating mini-games, and outdated graphics.