Phineas and Ferb just might be the two most inventive kids in the history of childhood. For them, repairing time machines and building amazing roller coasters are all in a day's work, and it's this propensity for invention, as well as the unpredictable adventures that go along with it, that makes their cartoon fun to watch. Unfortunately, that inventive spirit is sorely lacking in Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension. This platformer for kids recycles the same few standard elements with exasperating frequency, making this interdimensional trek an uncharacteristically tedious adventure for the intrepid duo.
6327367NoneA spooky sense of deja vu haunts the levels of this platformer.
Phineas, Ferb and their pet platypus Perry (AKA Agent P) have been stranded in an alternate dimension by a more sinister version of Dr. Doofenshmirtz than the one who resides in their home dimension. The three must now make their way from one dimension to another and collect batteries to power up their pocket otherdimensionator so that they can get home. Unfortunately, Across the 2nd Dimension just sets up the story briefly at the beginning and then spends little time developing it. Almost none of the clever writing that the cartoon is known for is present here. Phineas, Ferb, and the rest of the crew are interesting and likable characters, but you wouldn't know that from playing this game.
The characters here are short on personality, but at least the visuals pick up some of the slack. You travel through five dimensions, each of which has its own distinct look. The sand-colored platforms and ancient Egyptian environmental details of one dimension sharply contrast the moody purples and vibrant pinks of the surreal musical realm that follows. You also travel through a spooky dimension in which you hop across the tops of floating skulls and avoid being crushed by massive gravestones, and a cheery mechanized wonderland of toys, where platforms are rotated on Ferris wheels and huge googly-eyed clown faces send giant snowballs rolling out into the world.
Unfortunately, this visual variety isn't matched by the gameplay. Instead, Across the 2nd Dimension runs out of ideas fast and then repeats the same few situations and minigames so frequently that playing it quickly starts to feel like you're playing the same short game over and over and over. You can switch among Phineas, Ferb, and Agent P at any time with a tap of the touch screen. You frequently need to do so to take advantage of a character's special abilities. For instance, only Phineas and his baseball launcher can trigger distant switches; Ferb's electricity ray is necessary for powering certain platforms and stunning certain robots; and Agent P can use his butt-stomp to press buttons and his grappling hook to yank shields from enemies. There's never any confusion about which character to use to overcome a given obstacle; when you're near something that requires a specific character's skills, he gives a polite little wave on the touch screen.
Jump like an Egyptian.