Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo
Critic Reviews add missing review
Average score: 85% (based on 8 ratings)
Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 25 ratings with 2 reviews)
This game is a considerable step up over previous Junior Adventures in a number of ways. The most obvious being the graphics. After a bit of a rough start with the first Freddi Fish and the first two Junior Field Trips, Humongous Entertainment's artists were gradually starting to get the hang of hand-drawn animation. The linework is now reasonably polished most of the time. Only a few angled shots of Putt-Putt's face still don't look quite right. The backgrounds look rather nice as well. They're fully hand-drawn like in the first Freddi Fish, but their artists gave them much brighter and more cartoonish colors. They fit the game a lot better, and also handled the conversion to 256 colors more gracefully.
And for the first time, the soundtrack is almost fully live-performed. George Sanger and his Team Fat took full advantage of this to deliver something far more lively and experimental than their previous output. It's full of personality and really helps give the game a unique atmosphere. No other game in the company's lineup sounds anything like this.
This is also the first Humongous game to have acceptable writing. The writers of past games seemed unsure on how to handle dialogue aimed at children, and so they often settled for a very basic and somewhat patronizing tone. This game's script on the other hand is less hesitant to show a bit of flavor. It's hardly a literary masterpiece, seeing how it does still have to remain perfectly comprehensible to young children, but it's complex enough to give characters some basic personality, which is more than I can say for almost any character of prior games.
The competent voice acting also helps. I don't really have anything to complain here. Every voice actor fits their character just fine. What's especially welcome is that all of the game's baby animals are voiced by actual children, which helps make their voices sound more authentic.
In general, the game just has more heart to it than past Junior Adventures. Its setting has a real sense of exploration and adventure, while also being filled to the brim with side activities and random fluff to play around with. The actual quality of said activities isn't all that great, but they still help make individual locations more memorable.
Sadly, if there's one area that doesn't really mark an improvement, it's the puzzles. Well, perhaps I should rephrase that. They do indeed mark an improvement over the often extremely primitive puzzles of Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon. But compared to those of Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds, they still feel like a bit of a step back. It makes sense that the developers opted for somewhat simpler puzzles, given this game's slightly lower target demographic. But simpler doesn't necessarily have to mean uncreative, yet that's the route they often took. Most of them are about as generic as it gets. Yes, of course you would need a shovel to dig through a pile of snow. And use cheese to lure a mouse away. And a log to fix a raft that's missing a log. You could argue that the straightforwardness of these puzzles helps make them even easier for children to figure out, but I don't think you have to go quite this far. Judging by the puzzles of the next games in the series, the developers seem to have arrived at the same conclusion.
But the biggest disappointment is the complete lack of replay value. Once again, there is extremely little variation between different playthroughs. And this is coming straight on the heels of the first Freddi Fish, which was the first Junior Adventure to feature a considerable degree of randomization. Why was Humongous this hesitant to utilize this in the Putt-Putt series? I don't see how concerns over the games' difficulty could be the reason, considering a lack of randomized puzzles doesn't make the first playthrough any easier. It just makes future ones more stale.
The Bottom Line
This game was an impressive achievement for its time, and it still has plenty of charm today. But rather than a conventional adventure game, it almost feels more like a theme park with some occasional adventure game puzzles on the side. And it's not a badly made theme park at all. It's just a bit lacking in substance. It's somewhat unfortunate that the Junior Adventures' popularity seems to have peaked at this point, because future installments would retain everything good about this game, while also having a lot more effort put into their puzzles.
Windows · by SomeRandomHEFan (164) · 2020
It seems to me that it has a similar feel to using the controls. Everything I touch gives me a lot of surprises during the adventure. As I got it for free, there is also an option to unlock it as a full version, but I'm not gonna unlock it just yet. The visual guides are very useful features in this game, because before in the original release for the PC there were none. I kinda think of them as pointing arrows to go to a different location throughout the game.
There is a little glitch where the colour of Putt-Putt stays as purple, but if you go to a different location, it uses the saved colour the player used when he or she changes the colour of Putt-Putt before they closed the app. Hopefully Humongous Entertainment might fix that someday.
The Bottom Line
You will love the exciting, colourful, and amazing world of Putt-Putt and the animals that this game has to offer! If you are like me, then you should give it a go! It is excellent for children ages 3 to 8, but I like Putt-Putt since I was young. Brings back the memories!
Android · by Katie Cadet (9959) · 2016