Putt-Putt and Fatty Bear's Activity Pack

Moby ID: 21083
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$4.99 new on Steam
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Putt-Putt & Fatty Bear's Activity Pack contains 15 different games and activities for kids 3-8. This is a compilation of Putt-Putt's Fun Pack and Fatty Bear's Fun Pack, along with four new games. Most of the games are played against either Putt-Putt or Fatty Bear.

Some games are traditional, such as Tic-Tac-Toe, Checkers, Reversi, or the card game Go Fish.

Others are renamed versions of popular games. "Remember!" is basically Concentration, a memory game. "The Cheese King" is Hangman, while the "On-Ramps & Off Ramps" is the board game chutes & ladders. "Word Hunt!" is the device in puzzle books where you find words in letter grids. In "Guess It!", you use logic to figure out which fruits are used and which locations they've been placed in. "Lines & Boxes" is another logic game, making boxes by drawing lines between a grid of dots. Finally, Tangrams is a spatial recognition game, fitting pieces into different shapes.

Most of these games have multiple difficulty levels. Although designed for children 3-8, many of the games should give even parents the occasional run-for-the-money at the hardest level.

Finally, there are four games just for fun: In "Circus Stormin'" - a side-scrolling arcade game - you control Putt-Putt up and down, moving him around obstacles and having him pick up balloons. There's also a sliding tiles (logic puzzle) game with slightly varying images, and a Pachinko pinball where you can create your own 'field' of 6x11 bumpers and the balls make amusing sounds when they hit. There's also a 35-page in-game coloring book with 16 mixable palette slots.

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Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 6 ratings with 1 reviews)

A collection of overall passable games with a lukewarm presentation

The Good
This is a combined and expanded rerelease of two earlier games known as Putt-Putt's Fun Pack and Fatty Bear's Fun Pack. As such, most of its content is nothing new, though this compilation is how most people played them.

I won't go through the 11 old games in this review, as I already covered them earlier, but to sum it up, Checkers, Reversi and the Tangram puzzles are decent enough, Dots and Boxes and Go Fish are okay, Tic-Tac-Toe, Concentration, the picture-matching game, the spelling game and the coloring book are forgettable, and the Pachinko game is basically a joke.

As for the four new games, the Mastermind clone is perfectly serviceable, while the word search game is at least passable. And Circus Stormin' is the highlight of the collection. It's a sequel to Bear Stormin', a minigame from Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon that also saw an obscure standalone release. It's a pretty lengthy game that's really simplistic at its core, yet has a decent amount of variety thanks to its fairly creative level design.

The Bad
At the same time however, the lack of a save or proper level selection feature in Circus Stormin' is frankly baffling. It's not humanly possible to make it through the whole game with the extremely small amount of lives it gives you, even if you pick the latest available starting level. The game relies far too heavily on memorization for that to be even remotely feasible. The only way you're ever going to make it through all 75 levels is by playing it in ScummVM or an emulator and using save states. In fact, you're probably even going to need mid-level save states unless you're prepared to spend hours on the absurdly difficult last level. The existence of lives made no sense in Bear Stormin' either, but it was easily forgivable there thanks to the presence of a save feature (or at least a password system in the standalone version).

Furthermore, the new board game is really weak. Its outcome is completely randomized. And its only educational value is that it teaches some very basic counting skills on its higher difficulties.

This version of the game was also very sloppily made when it comes to voice acting. In order to remove the need to re-hire Scott Burns to voice any new lines for Fatty Bear, the developers simply didn't give him any and instead had Putt-Putt host all four of the newly added games. What's more, Putt-Putt's new lines were clearly recorded under very sub-optimal conditions, as they sound very muffled. It makes for a very jarring contrast with his old lines, which sound much clearer.

Finally, all of the complaints I had about the Fun Packs are still valid here. Most of the games have tons of alternatives available elsewhere, as none of them other than Circus Stormin' are based on an original concept. And the presentation is pretty crude. What's especially disappointing is that the soundtrack consists solely of tracks from Putt-Putt Joins the Parade. Unlike Fatty Bear's Fun Pack, no tracks from Fatty Bear's Birthday Surprise are included.

The Bottom Line
Some of the games in this collection make for decent or at least acceptable time-wasters, but there are some stinkers included as well. And overall, it just doesn't do much to stick out. With so many better alternatives available nowadays, I can only really recommend it to big fans of Humongous Entertainment who want to see everything the company's lineup has to offer.

DOS · by SomeRandomHEFan (164) · 2020

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Oddity with the credits Mr. Eight-Three-One (1840) Jul 21, 2017
Go Fish game - images vs. numbers Nowhere Girl (8680) Jan 25, 2017

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Dave Timoney.

Linux added by Sciere. Windows 3.x, Macintosh added by Andrew Shepard.

Game added February 11, 2006. Last modified February 13, 2024.