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PEANUTS: Where's the Blanket, Charlie Brown?

Reviewed by  Mr. Bill & Lela

The Peanuts GangGood grief! If you're still looking for something to get for the kids or grandkids, then this may be the perfect choice. It's a very well designed beginning adventure game, for ages 4 and up, that will not only keep them enthralled but is also sure to bring a smile to your own face as you watch (or help) from nearby. It features the whole Peanuts gang, and manages to recreate anew many of the all-time favorite moments from that famous, and sorely missed, comic strip.

Lucy's little brother, Linus, has a terrible problem! His grandmother is coming to visit, and when she comes she always tries to take away his security blanket because she thinks that he's getting too big to still be carrying one around. So in a state of total panic, he runs to Charlie Brown's house and asks him what to do.

The Great HoundiniCharlie Brown comes up with an idea to reassure him. He tells Linus to leave the blanket with him, that it'll be perfectly safe there, and that he can then pick it up again after his grandmother goes home. That sounds reasonable, so Linus agrees and deposits his beloved blanket on Charlie Brown's desk for safekeeping.

But then the unthinkable happens and the blanket disappears! Who could have taken it? Where can it be? It's a desperate situation, because you know that Linus will fall apart without his blanket. So you and Snoopy must find it before he returns to ask for it.

This is a 2D, 3rd person, point and click adventure game with a very small inventory. It is exceptionally easy to play and navigate, and all instructions are given in the voice of the character that you are playing. Icons for all of the options are conveniently located in a strip at the bottom of the screen, and they are highlighted and explained whenever the pointer is passed over them.

Schroeder, The GreatYou can choose to play as either the cantankerous Lucy or as Charlie Brown, in either English or Deutsche (German), and for replayability the hidden items vary in their location with each character. The comic-style graphics are wonderful: they are bright and colorful, with everybody looking exactly like you remember them, and the voices are clear and typical for the characters. You can pause the game at any point or save and resume later exactly where you left it, and there's an option that allows different kids to each be playing their own game.

The game is divided into 9 different sections or areas that you visit in your search for the missing blanket, and each location has unique puzzles to be solved before you can progress. Each area has many different places to explore and things to click on, perhaps even a mini game to play, in addition to the main puzzle for that location. And along the way you must keep your eye on your pal Snoopy, and figure out some way to revitalize him whenever his energy falls.

The puzzles themselves are varied and interesting, mainly child-sized versions of classic adventure ones, and many have the nice feature of allowing you to complete only the parts that you messed up on, instead of having to start from scratch. You can choose to play in either an Easy or Hard mode for children of different ages, and a full walkthrough has been thoughtfully provided on the CD.

Snoopy P.I.Of course complications soon develop to thwart your search for the blanket, and Charlie Brown (or Lucy) soon finds himself embroiled in a classic Peanuts-style frustrating situation ("I should have stayed in bed!"). It's a convoluted trail that you and Snoopy, the 'Great Houndini', must follow ("why can't I have a normal dog?"), that includes among other things a visit to see Peppermint Patty at the Magic Show, a trip to the Library and to Computer Camp to find Charlie Brown's little sister, Sally (where he finds her drawing by hand because "it's easier!"), a visit with the Beethoven-playing Schroeder, a trip to the Supermarket, and even a very unusual trip to the little bird Woodstock's home.

We had a wonderful time playing this little game for review. The gang still has that 'real kid' attitude that we remember so fondly, and some of their observations and remarks are priceless (like at computer camp when Charlie Brown says, "this rude tin can is beginning to get on my nerves"). It's a warm and fuzzy feeling to revisit this small world of little kids with all of their 'big' problems. So do your own kids a favor and share it with them!

  December 2002  Mr. Bill and Lela

A Very Rude Tin Can
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Developed (2002) by  The Web Production  and was published by Tivola Publishing.  Now published by  Viva Media.

Minimum System Requirements:  Windows   MAC

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Copyright   December 2002
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