If you have kids, then you are probably more than aware of the latest Dreamworks Animation movie, Monsters vs. Aliens, about to hit theaters. The movie is an animated comedy, featuring the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie, Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen, about a girl who turns into a giant and teams up with a secret compound of good monsters to battle evil aliens and save the day. Grabbing kids’ attention most is the blue, cycloptic, gelatinous blob called B.O.B., voiced by Rogen.
What you get is basically access to the film trailer, still shots, and the official movie site as well as three mini applications that include Meet B.O.B., a soundboard that plays 32 different B.O.B. voice clips from the movie, and six mini games.
Meet B.O.B. puts B.O.B. on the screen so you can tap, swipe, pinch and shake to elicit his repeated responses. The mini games are comprised of two different types of memory match, one with pictures and one with sounds, and four games of “52-Card Pickup,” which is merely sorting playing cards by suit and number.
Even though I can’t think of a single Dreamworks film I didn’t at least moderately enjoy if not love, I am not a huge fan of shameless self-promotion no matter which media conglomerate is doing it. In this case, I say shameless because consumers are being asked to pay for Monsters vs. Aliens which is entirely promotional. To be fair, there is a free version of Monsters vs Aliens that is absent five of the six mini games available in the paid version, but in my opinion, these extra five games don’t supply enough sustenance to justify paying for this version.
Kids will certainly enjoy interacting with B.O.B., but this can be done on both versions. The picture memory match is a good game for kids, but the card sorting ones aren’t exactly kid-friendly, especially the more cumbersome levels that require panning, tapping, and sorting in numerical order by suit. Most kids will no doubt get a kick and some mileage out of some of the features, especially Meet B.O.B. and the soundboard, but perhaps not enough to warrant the purchase of Monsters vs. Aliens. It’s certainly cute enough, but the free Lite version of the same app will likely satisfy even the most impatient kids (and grown ups) biding their time till the film’s debut.
Here's a video preview of Monsters vs. Aliens: