Inspector Gadget. A name that most people would be familiar with due to its large popularity about a decade ago, even a movie was made from it. As with a lot of past children shows, it has come back with a few changes to the Fox Kids network and along with this THQ have built a game based on the new cartoon. Gadget and the gadgetinis is primarily aimed at kids but the gadget fans who are a bit older will probably find something to like in the game as well.
As you may have guessed from the name of the game and show, there have been changes to the cartoon. The main change is that Gadget now has a group of robots known as the Gadgetinis, who help him out when need be. The storyline is very much aimed at kids and keeps in line with the style of the Gadget cartoon. Mad Gas is being released worldwide making people go crazy. Gadget who works for WOMP is tasked with destroying the laboratories manufacturing this gas. Fairly cliche but it's not the storyline that makes this a fairly decent game for both adults and kids alike.
The game is a third person action game. You take control of Gadget the whole time, but the Gadgetinis offer help when required. Structurally the game is fairly simple. Move through levels defeating enemies while having either Penny or the Gadgetinis telling you what to do next. Penny informs you about the powers you can use with Gadget to get further through the levels. There is a greater level of depth to the game than this however and some decision making can be made. For instance you can defeat an enemy by either hitting them, or inflate gadget to repel their weapons. There is also a puzzle solving element to the game but being a kids game they are not that difficult to solve.
Of course Gadget has brought along all his gadgets and throughout the early stages Penny will inform you how to use them. Fans of the older series will recognize some, but there seems to be more added for the latest iteration for Fox. The gadgets are Magnetic Shoes, Communicator, Binoculars and others. These are used to solve the various puzzles in the game which, as mentioned before, are fairly easy. One example is using 'go go gadget height' to reach a high ledge.
The game is spread across four large levels with boss fights thrown in. The boss fights are not easy and also make use of Gadgets bits. One thing which annoyed us with one particular boss is that missiles are fired at you to repel, but only some of them are actually used to hit the enemy. The four levels range from China Town through to places such as Gadget's own building and the base of Dr Claw. The graphics are fairly good for the game keeping with the cartoon style and each character is highly recognizable. The storyline is played out via still cel scenes rather than motion video which is a little disappointing but still manages to do the job well.
Inspector Gadget is a good game for the children market but also a game that older fans of the franchise will probably enjoy. The developers have captured the franchise quite well, including the new features that have been added to the cartoon series. A decent game but only for fans of the franchise and those with kids.