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THQ has been on somewhat of a roll lately with really fun games like Cars (on every platform imaginable). Barnyard is based on the PG rated movie (rated for some mild peril and rude humor) of the same name. It is this reviewers understanding that the premise behind this game may not seem appealing to some people. Let me start by saying it is not as bad as one would expect. In fact it is quite wholesome. The cow in the game that is getting in trouble finds himself thrust into the position of power, and all the responsibility that goes along with it. In short it rattles him into acting more responsibly. Gameplay wise this game is similar to a role playing game. Your cow helps out on the farm, and runs errands for other animals on the farm. There are raccoons, and coyotes who are out to hurt the animals on the farm, so defense (by shooting out milk) is possible. One of the coolest aspects of this game is violence against these bad animals is not required (with the exception of one mini game). Speaking of mini games, there are more than enough to keep players busy. They range from a bowling lane, to teasing the mailman. Certain chores must be completed in order to open other areas, and/or shortcuts.

The graphics in Barnyard are very bright and colorful. The details are well done, especially consider this is a Gameboy Advance game. Wholesome images are also used properly. One thing of note is the majority of the farm animals are overweight, and no mention is made of that fact.

I am sure that some people reading this review right now want to hear about the ‘Moo’ sounds in Barnyard. Well there aren’t any. The music is pleasant, if a little forgettable after awhile. There are also records that can be collected and played in the basement of the barn. The sounds of the special effects work quite well, especially in the mini games.

Did someone say something about mini games? There are more than enough to keep any child busy for quite some time. As an adult I found many of them to be a lot of fun. The only mini games I did not like were the ones that involved moving blocks around to form a picture, but then I have never liked that kind of a puzzle. There are a lot of things to find in this game, and that is actually surprising. This is a game in this reviewers humble opinion is worth your hard earned dollars.

The controls are very responsive, with the exception of the bicycle riding (which is by design), but that can be learned pretty quickly. The level design works quite well, even if it seems a little simplistic at times. This is a children’s game, and with that in mind it will give kids a run for their money. I found this a really fun game to play.

Who says the Gameboy Advance is dead? Games like Barnyard certainly prove that wrong. THQ has been releasing a lot of games this year that take care of the gaming needs of families, and they should be commended for that. Helping out other animals on the farm is a wonderful lesson, as is the lesson in responsibility. Barnyard on the Gameboy Advance is safe for the entire family, and is one this reviewer would recommend to his pastor. It was my joy, and pleasure to play, and review this GBA game. I really hope that THQ releases a sequel to this game, maybe one that is a little longer. Family values are also encouraged, and supported in this game.
- Paul


Graphics: 91%
Sound: 88%
Replay/Extras: 90%
Gameplay: 91%
Family Friendly Factor: 100%
System: Gameboy Advance
Publisher: THQ
Rating: 'E' for Everyone
{Comic Mischief}

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