E3 '07: Napoleon Dynamite Hands-On

We ready our nunchaku skills and dive headfirst into Crave's upcoming handheld adaptation of the cult classic comedy. Gosh!

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Weird movies are getting made into games. Specifically, weird movies made by Jared Hess are getting made into games. Last year, it was a DS adaptation of Nacho Libre. This year, Napoleon Dynamite is coming to the PSP and DS. Now, we know what you're thinking. How the heck do you make Napoleon Dynamite into a game? It was barely even a movie! Well, quite simply, you toss together a bunch of minigames themed after segments and key comedic moments from the film. Then you put it all together with a sort of kooky cut-and-paste style of animation to call it a game.

By now, you're probably already racking your brains trying to think of clever segments from the film that could be turned into a minigame. Is there a Napoleon dancing game? Is there some kind of Uncle Rico football throwing game? At any point do you have to feed Tina? Yes, yes, yes, and more! The DS version of the game is going to include 24 unique minigames, while the PSP version will have 30. The version we played was the PSP version, and we got to try out all of the above games, as well as a couple more than those mentioned.

First off, the big gun: the Napoleon dancing game. Think Parappa the Rapper. Button and D pad icons skirt across the screen as Napoleon dances; by pressing the buttons in time, Napoleon will do some sweet moves. The timing is actually quite precise, and in the later stages of the game, the presses become extremely fast. The next game, the Uncle Rico football toss, is sort of like all those mobile launching games that have been the rage in recent years. You first set the angle of your toss by hitting the X button at the right moment that a meter goes up and down. Then you set the power of your toss by doing the same thing. Rico goes first, and your goal is to beat his distance. Along the way, you'll find trampolines to boost your toss, and mud pits that slow you down. The Tina feeding game is a game of dodging and shooting. You fire casserole at Tina while trying to avoid her bullets of spit, and she can spit plenty.

The other two games involved Kip's elite hacker skills and the ill-advised purchase of a mail-order time machine by Uncle Rico. In Kip's game, you have to select and rotate a series of computer circuits to get Kip's signal to a library computer while avoiding pitfalls along the way. The time-machine game has you connecting circuits as well, though in this game, you pick the circuit pieces off of a table and connect them to a board. The goal is to use every circuit and get from one side of the board to the other. These two games struck us as being markedly more challenging than the others we played.

With a lot of minigames and a quirky art style, Napoleon Dynamite may just prove to be an amusing distraction for fans of the film. There's no voiced dialogue in the game, but the minigames will be book-ended by text-based cutscenes that include plenty of new jokes in the Napoleon Dynamite vein. We'll be sure to bring you more on Napoleon Dynamite in the coming weeks.

Discussion

56 comments
musicaz70
musicaz70

Ah man, if this game gets over a 7.0 I'll giggle

BradHummr
BradHummr

I love the movie but I'm having doubts about this game. I can't say it sucks just yet, but it doesn't appear to be to promising either. Hopefully it surprises us all and turns out to be a decent ride.

zeekx
zeekx

I feel sorry for the people who have to go to work every day and make this game spawned of **** Truly a terrible plight for all.

winnerjay
winnerjay

Sounds kinda funny, but no voice acting in a movie licensed game.. that has to be a joke.

strategyking92
strategyking92

LOL, i love party games and napolean dynamite but crave as the publisher? I may just buy this because i have the psp movie

rolento88
rolento88

sounds like a "wario" kind of game....

bansheerpg
bansheerpg

The Mario Party franchise gets worst and worst every year as it keeps recycling the same game play elements over and over again. Since it's first Nintendo 64 title release, the serie hasn't evolved a bit. It's a good thing more party games are being developed as it brings variety to this particular kind of games, where series which proved their value are falling appart. The mini-games featured in Napoleon Dynamite don't sound promising or fantastic and will probably make a couple of movie fans break a window trying to get rid of it. Still, some other games like Rayman Raving Rabbids might be just what this type of games needs to renew itself.

Act_IV
Act_IV

I liked the movie, but I'm also positive I won't like this. So many new minigame-based games will own this game. Like Mario party.

noreasonwhy79
noreasonwhy79

seriously, WTF!!! Secondly, isn't this like 2 years too late? I guess the middle school kids will be all over it tho.

nth1739
nth1739

I loved Napoleon Dynamite, truly a cult film. I dont know if I am going to like this game though :/ Seems kind of generic, just mini games with the characters likenesses? On top of that there is no dialog from the movie, whats the point of even licensing a comedy if you arent even going to use the jokes? GOSH....!!!

Thorpe89
Thorpe89

Oh my. I can't believe this. :o

ShadowLaguna
ShadowLaguna

What the hell? These guys must be on drugs!

PrivateJessard
PrivateJessard

It's gonna be the worst game. The movie was horrible.

Jakendo
Jakendo

I didnt like the movie ... I'm not sure if the game sounds good either ...

SGTNAPALM
SGTNAPALM

the movie is about nothing. it's like seinfeild. but ill keep an eye on it.

GMAN32X
GMAN32X

I never really "got" the movie so I think I'll pass on the game.

Belfento
Belfento

I think we're all forgetting one important thing: It's being made by Crave.

dav1000
dav1000

napoleon dynamite is a mint film, but i cant see this game been worth buying, it should be a free online game or sumat

gamefan06
gamefan06

Come on Spaz, at least watch a movie before you judge it. I used to think Indiana Jones was dumb. Until I watched it, that is. But I do have a hard time believing that this game is going to be even slightly good.

SpazH3d
SpazH3d

The movie is utter crap. And i haven't even watched it. :)

muthsera666
muthsera666

Why pick this movie out all of the other movies that would work much better? Sigh.

Kilgore1987
Kilgore1987

total rubbish, could never be good, even with a million years of development

GodsBusy
GodsBusy

. . . the sound you hear is my brain exploding. I'm telling grandma.

jesus_knight
jesus_knight

i dont think so it could be a good game... well i am not sure....

oscar530
oscar530

this game will suk...... a lot

bamaman92
bamaman92

This is going to be another embarrasment to the gaming universe mark my words.

JimBurber
JimBurber

Haha, comedy... I like jokes like this :)

magicmo
magicmo

Umm, ok....this thing will be on Ebay before you know it.

asdfpo
asdfpo

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Bansheesdie
Bansheesdie

Why? I mean come the F* on, who the hell thinks this is a good idea?

Relys
Relys

Look out Big Rigs, you've got some competition!

Pete5506
Pete5506

just a big NO to this game

RoyTheViking
RoyTheViking

Gosh, freakin' Idiots is an appropriate expression to describe this game.

icytower
icytower

Sounds rather bad to me.

s0njas0n
s0njas0n

that's flippin awesome, lol :lol:

Yasihiko
Yasihiko

Two words. Freaking, sweet.

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

I hope they can at least capture the humor in the movie. Because I have my doubts about the gameplay.

ghostrc
ghostrc

This game is 3 years too late