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Shrek: Treasure Hunt

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Shrek: Treasure Hunt
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"Judging by this music, it sounds like we're off to Shrek's funeral!"
Caddicarus
Protagonist(s): Shrek
Genre(s): Party
Platform(s): PlayStation
Release: NA: October 18, 2002
EU: November 29, 2002
Developer(s): The Code Monkeys
Publisher(s): TDK Mediactive[1]
Country: United Kingdom
Series: Shrek
Predecessor: Shrek (2001) (by release date)
Successor: Shrek Swamp Kart Speedway (by release date)

Shrek: Treasure Hunt is a 2002 party game developed by The Code Monkeys and published by TDK Mediactive for PlayStation.

Plot

As Shrek is preparing a picnic with Fiona, the three blind mice steal all the picnic equipment, so Shrek must go on an adventure to get them back before Fiona arrives.

Gameplay

The player controls Shrek as they collect an assortment of items like food to enter a minigame, once they complete the minigame, they win a stolen piece of the picnic. The player must collect all 10 pieces to win the game.

Why It Ain't an All Star

  1. Misleading Title: The title name is lying because despite the game being called Shrek: Treasure Hunt, you are actually looking for picnic items instead of treasure, which doesn't make sense because picnics and treasures don't mean the same thing.
  2. Releasing this game on the PS1 in 2002 is a strange idea as the PS2 already came out two years before. One of its predecessors was one of the launch titles on the Xbox, so it doesn't make sense for this game to come out on the PS1.
  3. Boring and repetitive gameplay. All you do is collect a specific amount of items that unlock a minigame, play said minigame, which if you win, you get a picnic item, and that's it.
  4. Terrible graphics. The environments are incredibly basic with it all looking the same besides the landmarks, structure, and overall color, the textures are muddy, and the models are just detailed enough that you can make out what it is, but none of them have actual faces. For comparison, Shrek released on Xbox a year earlier has much better graphics than this game.
  5. The sound effects are poor, especially the jump sound, which sounds like a generic jump sound from a stock cartoon sound effect library.
  6. The main draw of the game: the minigames, are boring given how simple they are.
    • Tug of War: This minigame is where you push Snow White off of Shrek's table. This game is slightly broken as it's a rhythm game where you time the button pushes when they reach the reticle. However, the timing is off as you have to hit the button right before it gets to the reticle.
    • Catch the Blind Mice: It's just Simon Says with the Blind Mice.
    • Swing on Chains/Cross the Rope Bridge: Both require you to avoid fireballs while jumping from platform to platform. These are the most challenging ones mainly because of the controls.
    • Swamp Fishing: As it says, you have to fish for nine different fish. All that you have to do is cast your rod to where you see ripples in the water and reel in to which a fish will be hooked onto it.
    • Catch some Weed Rats: All that you do is stomp on rats. This one can easily be cheesed since the squashed rats don't disappear and more spawn in like you'd think. Instead, the rats will just get back up, meaning you can just jump on the same rat until you win.
    • Cotton Candy: This is where you swat flies by lining a reticle up to the area of the flies, wait until it locks on, and swat.
    • Catch the Worms: You have to move a reticle up to where worms wriggle to catch them. This one can also be cheesed since the worms move in predictable patterns.
    • Splat the Knight: Just move the reticle to the pop-up knight and throw a tomato at it.
    • Collect the Armor: A puzzle/platforming minigame where you have to collect seven pieces of armor while avoiding fire. The only "puzzle" aspect is using a bunch of levers to open pathways.
  7. Terrible optimization. The framerate can never reach around 30-60FPS. It's even worse with a damaged disc or the PAL version, because the framerate would clock around 10-20FPS with a disc like that.
    • The game also has the tendency to crash, though it depends on what hardware revision your console is playing on.
  8. The game lets you choose between "Easy" and "Hard" mode, but the game plays virtually the same. The only real thing that changes is that in Hard, the amount of time to beat a minigame is shorter and the time goes down quicker than in Easy.
  9. The game is littered with distance fog which is unacceptable at this point in the PlayStation's lifespan. Again, this game came out in 2002!
  10. Just like the 2001 Shrek game, there is hardly any connection to the actual Shrek universe with lots of major characters missing like Donkey.
  11. There are some bugs and glitches throughout the game, such as minigames failing to load, and Shrek getting stuck in some platforms.
  12. The game can be completed in around an hour due to how little content there is.
  13. The game is pathetically easy. The minigames have next to no challenge (BQ #6) and you can't even die. When you get hit by an enemy, Shrek just falls to the ground and gets back up as if nothing happened.
  14. There are two power-ups: the Shield and the Spring. The former is next to useless since it does nothing but prevent you from falling over when touched by enemies and the latter is only used in one area.
  15. The controls are sloppy. Shrek feels heavy most of the time and jumping is even worse since you can easily slip due to how heavy jumping is.
  16. Most of the game is a rehash of Goofy's Fun House, which is also from the same developer and was released a few months prior to this game. This includes the physics engine, sound effects, and some of the minigames (Tug of War, Swamp Fishing, Catch some Weed Rats, and Catch the Worms).
    • Unlike Goofy's Fun House, collecting all the picnic items doesn't give you any reward other than the ending cutscene, and since collecting the items is a more tedious process here it makes the game feel more frustrating and less worth playing.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The soundtrack in this game, along with the main menu music, is well-composed and decent.
  2. Decently and perfectly animated FMVs where you start the game, win or lose a minigame, and when you finish the game.
  3. The game's motivation is pretty decent, even if it's a bit bland.

References

  1. Published under the TDK Impulse label.

Reception

Shrek: Treasure Hunt received a mostly negative response from critics upon release. GameRankings, an aggregator for game reviews, assigned the game a score of 29% based on one review.

In his review, Caddicarus called this one of the worst games he's ever played. He makes mention of how the game should've just been a level select given how little there is to do, calls the minigames "unimaginative", and the graphics and optimization terrible with him mentioning how the framerate made him ill.

Videos

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