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Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
80 (Apr 22, 2008)
Movie licensed titles are often less than satisfactory, but The Spiderwick Chronicles manages to pair decent gameplay with impressive production values. Kids who enjoyed the movie or the books should find plenty to enjoy in the game.
Worth Playing (Feb 19, 2008)
Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by The Spiderwick Chronicles, and I'd easily recommend it to anyone who has kids who are fans of the book series or the movie, or anyone who just wants to sit down and play a quick, simple adventure title. While this isn't likely to be the most intense or challenging game you've ever played, it still manages to be quite a lot of fun. Besides, you owe it to yourself to play at least one movie licensed game that doesn't suck, and if history is any guide, this may be the only title that fits the bill this year.
XboxAddict (Feb 28, 2008)
Overall a great adventure game, would like to see a bit more "polish" to the game and an inventory system to work around the item backtracking.
Game Vortex (Mar 02, 2008)
Although it has its issues, The Spiderwick Chronicles is still a fun game, at least if you're in the game's target age group. There's always something to do or new to discover, which should keep younger players hooked.
IGN (Feb 13, 2008)
The Spiderwick Chronicles recreates that feeling of being a kid and suspending your disbelief in fantasy. Much of this success in setting a mood and creating an intriguing world to explore is attributable to Holly Black's original books. But I have to give credit to developer Stormfront for creating a fun game to go inside the Spiderwick license. The graphics aren't much to look at and the game can become frustrating at times. But there is a big area to delve into, the music is great, and there is a lot of gameplay variety. There's something new to find around every corner, and that's something I can't say about enough games. The Chronicles could get younger players hooked on adventure gaming.
Daily Game (Mar 03, 2008)
Still, The Spiderwick Chronicles is a rare example of a video game based on a film that manages to operate within the confines of the film's structure while still providing a moderately entertaining gameplay experience. There's definitely a worthwhile rental in The Spiderwick Chronicles, especially if you plan to play with a child or spouse who loves to "armchair quarterback" every move you make.
Cheat Code Central (Feb 25, 2008)
In conclusion, The Spiderwick Chronicles is a more than decent game that will generally appeal to the younger ones. If you haven't watched the movie, you might feel a bit lost sometimes trying to follow the story. On the other hand, the quest log is very helpful and helps players stay focused on the game's multiple goals. The game is not spectacular but looks and plays well enough to keep the players entertained, and it doesn't entail much frustration, unlike other games of the family action / adventure genre.
70 (Mar 13, 2008)
Die Geheimnisse der Spiderwicks ist eine ungewohnt charmant präsentierte und gut spielbare Filmumsetzung für junge Fantasy-Fans ab schätzungsweise acht Jahren - lasst euch von der USK 12-Freigabe nicht abschrecken! Geübte Spieler sind bis auf einige optionale Nebenaufgaben trotz drei jederzeit änderbarer Schwierigkeitsgrade jedoch hoffnungslos unterfordert, während der an sich simple, aber extrem hakelige Endkampf eine Zumutung für jedes Alter darstellt. Auch der geringe Umfang, die überschaubare Spielwelt und die geringe Gegnervielfalt zehren unnötig am Spielspaß. Davon abgesehen werdet ihr jedoch meist liebevoll unterhalten, geht mit vier verschiedenen Protagonisten auf phantastische Entdeckungsreise, löst einfach gehaltene Rätsel und Geschicklichkeitsaufgaben und freut euch über die ordentliche deutsche Lokalisierung.
70 (Mar 25, 2008)
Die Spiderwicks sind glücklicherweise keine Spielumsetzung eines Films, um die ein großer Bogen gemacht werden sollte. Fans der Bücher oder des Films, werden mit dem Spiel vermutlich ihren Spaß haben. In erster Linie richtet sich das Spiel jedoch an Kinder und denen dürften die Spiderwicks sicherlich ein paar vergnügte Stunden bereiten. Insbesondere nachdem der Film im Kino gesehen wurde, werden die jüngeren Spieler Spaß daran haben, das ganze nachzuspielen. Die USK Freigabe ab 12 dürfte mit dem zerstören der Monster durch einen Baseballschläger zu erklären sein. Eigentlich schade, denn das Gameplay würde sich garantiert auch für jüngere Spieler eignen. Kinder dürften über die Clipping-Fehler hinweg sehen und auch die kurze Spielzeit dürfte für ein Grundschulkind kein wirklicher Nachteil sein. Erwachsene sollten von unserer Wertung fünf bis sechs Punkte abziehen.
UOL Jogos (Mar 21, 2008)
"Spiderwick Chronicles", visto como um produto voltado para o público mais jovem, e ainda baseado em um filme atual, funciona de maneira divertida e eficaz. Ainda que tenha problemas na apresentação e traga combates, consegue prender a atenção e divertir, principalmente devido a seus fortes elementos de exploração e resolução de enigmas.
Totally Gaming Network (Mar 13, 2008)
Fans of the books and the film will find lots to love here. Cold hearted cynical gamers will need to look elsewhere for their thrills as the game's relatively easy to skim through despite a few control niggles. All in all, Sierra / Stormfront Studios know their audience and with a bit more attention paid to the control systems and making them consistent, the game would be nigh on perfect for your little ones.
MS Xbox World (Mar 15, 2008)
For a kids game, The Spiderwick Chronicles is a pretty decent effort in providing gamers with some solid adventuring experiences. There's not really too much to fault here as the game doesn't try to be something it's not. For straight up adventuring that will keep the kids away from nasty swear words, vulgar behavior and gratuitous violence, then this game is the perfect game. For any older gamers, then there's certainly some fun to be had here, although I feel the game's simplicity and repetition might be too much for them. I'd suggest a purchase of the game for the younger players as there's some decent value here. For anyone else or those of you after some fairly easy achievement points, a rental would be suffice.
70 (Mar 16, 2008)
Spiderwick Chronicles to me is mainly aimed at children and in this respect it is a very good game, while some of it’s flaws, especially graphically, can be frustrating, if you can get by this then there is no doubt that you will be drawn in to it’s mystical adventure for long enough to think that this isn’t such a bad movie to game conversion.
GameCell UK (Apr 01, 2008)
The game doesn’t last too long, but it’s an enjoyable journey. It felt quite short and the wandering caused by the lack of a map probably artificially extends its life beyond what it rightfully should have been. The Thimbletack sections feel sufficiently different to add some variety, and the story and settings certainly have their own charms. Smacking seven shades of shi…nola out of beautifully animated and mean looking goblins with a baseball bat is very violent and satisfying, and the slightly scary nature of some sections may also mean it might not be suitable for really little kids (hence the PG rating), but the Harry Potter generation should lap it up.
Console Obsession (Apr 03, 2008)
There may be nothing particularly taxing or mind-blowing here, but The Spiderwick Chronicles, whilst not quite matching the legendary GoldenEye in terms of playability and invention, is an eminently playable film licence that feels as if it was a well cared for egg during its production, its parents should be proud at just what it has become.
XboxZone (Australia) (Apr 13, 2008)
Overall, The Spiderwick Chronicles is a reasonable game for the younger set but it’s definitely rental material. You don’t want to leave this one laying around the house and run the risk of your kids inflicting another play through on you. To begin with it really did feel like it was going to be a good, fun, family game and in some ways it was, but ultimately it fails to offer enough variety. The multiplayer could definitely have benefitted from the inclusion of a co-op mode. Single player repetition, tired game play and average graphics really let this one down. If you’re a big fan of either the book or the movie, you might find something to love, but for most kids or gamerscore hunters, it’s a rental.
GameZone (Feb 12, 2008)
The Spiderwick Chronicles for the Xbox 360 is an entertaining adventure game with just enough variety and inventive puzzles to please fans of the movie or books. There are certainly a few rough spots here and there and the visuals are not as eye-catching as they should be but the game has a number of fun moments that should not be missed by fans of the series.
Gamernode (Feb 12, 2008)
All in all the Spiderwick Chronicles is a simple game that will appeal to kids and those who aren't heavily into gaming. The environment is charming and leads to a nice few hours of exploration and adventure. The game is simple almost to a fault and this may bother some people, but if the game is seen as a travel guide into the Spiderwick world, it will have served its purpose.
Game Over Online (Feb 25, 2008)
And so it’s difficult to recommend The Spiderwick Chronicles. It’s not an awful game, but it’s nowhere near a good game either. It took me about seven hours to complete the main parts of the game and get my field guide to 74% complete. Supposedly, if you finish all of the optional quests and get the guide to 100%, then you get a bonus feature or an extra ending or something like that, but I couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to try for it, and that pretty much sums up my feelings for the game.
Xboxdynasty (XD) (Mar 08, 2008)
Dieses Spiel ist überwiegend für ein jüngeres Publikum gemacht und gedacht, das im besten Fall mit den Büchern, oder doch zu mindestens mit dem Film vertraut ist. Man kann sagen das es einem Jugendlichen schon durchaus großen Spaß bereiten kann, in der Rolle seiner Lieblingshelden durch eine für Ihn vertraute Welt zu laufen und die Abenteuer erneut zu erleben und die drei Geschwister tatkräftig bei ihren gefährlichen Abenteuern zu begleiten. Für Nicht-Leser wird es aber, wie anfangs schon erwähnt doch deutlich schwieriger in die magische Spiderwick Welt einzutauchen. Gerade am Anfang baut sich die Geschichte etwas unrund auf und springt rasch von Ereignis zu Ereignis. Man kann wohl klar sagen das wir hier ein Spiel für junge Fans haben, die sich damit auch anfreunden werden können und hier ein kurzweiliges Spiel erleben, das durchaus zu motivieren weiß. Älteren Spielern würde ich raten, die DSemoversion anzuspielen um sich vorab ein Bild vom Spiel zu schaffen.
65 (Apr 08, 2008)
Overall, this game will hit the mark for its target audience, so if you know someone who is a fan it will be perfect. It might be a pleasant diversion for the older gamer, if slightly simplistic. The graphics aren't exactly cutting-edge, and the gameplay is a bit repetitive after a while, but this is better than most movie tie-ins. Definitely recommended for our younger friends.
The limited inventory system often forces you to waste items to make room, and multiplayer is a complete waste - unless prancing through the fields collecting faeries with a net is your cup of tea. However, for a children's movie licensed game you could do a lot worse.
Console Monster (Mar 27, 2008)
Overall, The Spiderwick Chronicles is one of the better licensed movie games we’ve seen for a while but there is better games on the market. If you are planning on getting the game I recommend first seeing the movie before renting/purchasing the game as the story can be fairly complicated to understand from just the game. The story mode can easily be completed within 7 hours and you will also unlock you the majority of the achievements (with the rest coming from the multiplayer). You are very unlikely to come back to it after completion due to the lack of multiplayer and interest in the story.
60 (Mar 14, 2008)
Und aus genau diesen Gründen wird den meisten älteren Gamern, selbst Fans der Bücher, die Welt von Spiderwick verschlossen bleiben. Zu kurz und zu simpel kommt es für sie daher, um den großen Hunger spielerischen Anspruchs stillen zu können. Aber von der fast schon erwarteten Film-zu-Spiel Katastrophe ist es meilenweit entfernt. Ein Gigant unter den Winzlingen der Filmumsetzungen. Man muss halt seine Nische kennen.
Hooked Gamers (Mar 10, 2008)
The game is meant primarily for children. For a movie based game it offers a fairly decent gaming experience and doesn’t disappoint. It does have some problems and once the Field Guide is completed there is little much left to do. Older gamers will get bored of the game before the end, but if you are shopping for a younger audience or fan of the books, don’t pass it up simply because of its movie tie-in status.
AceGamez (Mar 20, 2008)
The Spiderwick Chronicles is a harmless piece of entertainment that might amuse those who are fans of the film and too young to really steep themselves in something complicated, but it's too obtuse and repetitive for older players. If you want a game that's inoffensive and suited for a child who is beyond basic puzzles but too young to be let loose in a fully-fledged action game, then this probably fits the bill. For the more experienced gamers out there, it might prove to be an interesting distraction for a weekend, but only if you are a fan of the books and/or film.
Video Game Talk (Mar 31, 2008)
The Spiderwick Chronicles isn’t a tough game to complete, but it can be entertaining for young fans of the books. It’s important to note that the game should probably be played after seeing the movie as the film stock used would spoil the movie experience. This title is a safe bet for parents looking to pick up an adventure title for children under ten. Older kids will race through the game too quickly and would be better off with a rental. This is also a decent rental for the aspiring achievement / gamerscore junkies out there.
Boomtown (Apr 17, 2008)
Overall this is a fairly solid title, nothing awe inspiring yet nothing dismal, and unfortunately for a movie tie-in that is quite an achievement. It’s aimed at younger players, and there is little that any serious gamer would find of interest, but for that younger generation it’s not a bad offering.
USA Today (Feb 28, 2008)
The bottom line is that this is an average movie tie-in game. Kids will spend a lot of time fighting their way through this magical but somewhat scary world.
55 (Apr 11, 2008)
Mélange des genres superficiel, ces Chroniques de Spiderwick pour Xbox 360 ne parviennent jamais à captiver réellement l'attention du joueur. Entre un système de combat ultra basique et des quêtes répétitives, il faudra vraiment avoir apprécié le film pour leur trouver un intérêt.
Game Chronicles (Mar 05, 2008)
The Spiderwick Chronicles is really a poor excuse for an adventure game and an about average game in total, it is playable but not really that enjoyable.
Jolt (UK) (Mar 21, 2008)
It’s the final nail in the coffin and one that stymies any potential The Spiderwick Chronicles may have. It’s a sad fact that games based on family films seem to be devoid of any fun, challenge or trust in their audiences – often the complete opposite to the movies they attempt to compliment. Like Narnia before it, Spiderwick is unflinching from its desire to make gamers play entirely by its own rules – the problem is, it forgot to ship a game with them.
XboxAchievements (Apr 13, 2008)
Exactly what the world has come to expect from a movie tie-in game and the fact it has been aimed squarely at kids makes matters worse as the difficulty level never rises above sleepwalking. Play it for points if you must or to distract an errant sibling but there is really no other reason to recommend this game.
50 (UK) (Mar 13, 2008)
There's the kernel of something really interesting in The Spiderwick Chronicles. Glimmers of a free-roaming kids adventure game with RPG overtones, based on actual folklore. Sadly, it only manages to be that game for an hour or so, before steadily becoming less interesting and more generic and annoying, culminating in an ending that is absolutely cruel considering the age of the intended player. In terms of gameplay, it's better than the usual game-of-the-film efforts - Stormfront's last entry was the woeful Eragon - but it's the gulf between potential and reality that makes this one sting.
Thunderbolt Games (Apr 07, 2008)
For what it’s worth, you could do a hell of a lot worse than The Spiderwick Chronicles. It seems perfectly happy to get through the six or so hours of game time merely meeting criteria to an acceptable standard and never anything more. For the retail price it’s going for in shops, it’s probably best to give this a rental and save your hard earned money for something that offers more bang for your buck. But you wouldn’t be at all foolish for believing that The Spiderwick Chronicles was a decent game - child or not.
DarkZero (Apr 29, 2008)
You get pretty much what you’d expect here, an extremely average game which has obviously been rushed out to coincide with the source of it’s licence. That’s fine if you enjoyed the film and want to relive it at home and it helps that the cut scenes lifted directly from the film. But if you’re more discerning about your games and don’t give a crap about the film then you really should be looking elsewhere.
1UP (Feb 08, 2008)
The Spiderwick Chronicles is a standard licensed game -- it's got just enough content to make a virtual reenactment of the Human/Goblin war worthwhile for fans of the franchise. For everyone else, you're better off constructing a real spirit net and seeing how long your can run around your neighborhood before someone summons the cops.
Gamestyle (Apr 01, 2008)
Ultimately The Spiderwick Chronicles achieves what it sets out to accomplish, and that is satisfy fans of the source material. It is not a video game adaptation that will break out of such a market (Goldeneye for example) and introduce players to a new experience. It plays to the converted and ticks all the boxes, whereas everyone else will correctly judge the final product as average.
Planet Xbox 360 (May 19, 2008)
The Spiderwick Chronicles continues the terrible trend of bad movie adaptations. At some point, you have to wonder if the silver screen and videogame consoles are as diametrically opposed as oil and water.
Game Revolution (Feb 15, 2008)
Regardless of what my girlfriend says, I’m not actually a pre-adolescent boy. And though this game is obviously targeted at the pre-teen set, my inner ten-year old remains uninspired. I was surprised at how simple and fun the fairy collection was, but the combat mechanics are a dull affair. Traipsing around in the walls isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and the game’s reliance on the field guide is a lazy design trick. I’m also not a fan of being made to feel like an old man who can’t find his keys. Save yourself the six hours it takes to play through The Spiderwick Chronicles, and go relive a much more interesting part of your pre-adolescence before senility truly does kick in.
TeamXbox (Feb 12, 2008)
Alas, another movie-made-video game that should be rented first, and purchased only by the rabid fans of the IP in-question. It may just come down to dollars and cents, as it seems that the budget wasn’t exactly massive for The Spiderwick Chronicles. Or maybe there is a curse that began with the Atari version of E.T. and has festered all of this time. We know a better game can be made about such an intriguing IP. Exactly why games like The Spiderwick Chronicles never seem to match their movie counterparts in value is a mystery that, like the whereabouts of that eleventh commandment, may never be revealed.
GamesRadar (Feb 27, 2008)
Wandering back and forth through the same areas to collect one silly object after another will drive you "This is Sparta" raving mad, especially when you realize that you have to collect every fairy sprite and finish every last side quest just to see how the story ends. Yes, the story is heartwarming, and it is engaging, but it's also mainly delivered through the video scenes that were taken from the movie. You could just watch that in its entirety in a quarter of the time it'd take you to play this game (and you'd have more fun).
Gaming Age (Apr 23, 2008)
While Spiderwick Chronicles didn't turn out to be a pile of trash, it's far from special and doesn't warrant a second glance in just about any situation. If you're reading this with prospects of buying a game for your kids, I'd save your money unless they're huge fans of this franchise, and in that case just go for a rental. I promise they'll be finished with it before it's due back, even with the multiplayer bits. Another licensed title will satisfy hardcore fans while the rest of the world keeps on spinning.
Gaming Nexus (Mar 17, 2008)
I had trouble coming up with a final grade for Spiderwick Chronicles. It isn’t really a bad game by any definition—it’s well assembled, playable and has strong ties to its accompanying movie. It’s just not a very good game either. You’ll be questing for trinkets most of the time, experiencing the tedium of Thimbletack, or engaging in some boring combat without much variety. In short, if you’ve played an adventure game before, you’ve seen most everything Spiderwick Chronicles has to offer. Kids who liked the movie will enjoy the game, for the time it takes to beat it, but after finishing the story, there isn’t much to hold anyone’s interest or to warrant another playthrough.

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