The Incredibles 3D is a better version of the avalanche minigame in Sonic Adventure, in which the cobalt hedgehog must snowboard away from an approaching snowball of doom. If that's not ringing a bell, attempt to recall the same scene from the PlayStation's Final Fantasy VII, from the Sega CD's Cliffhanger, or from the film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Whether you're playing as Mr. Incredible or as Dash, his irrepressible speed-demon son, you'll be running away from some large object, dodging myriad obstacles in the process. Although each member of the Incredibles has a different set of abilities, the game never strays from this simple mechanic. Fortunately, a great presentation and responsive controls make The Incredibles 3D much more than just another lackluster piece of adverware.
The game roughly follows the plot of the movie The Incredibles, taking you from action scene to action scene, with brief expository interludes. As your character runs, various roadblocks--ranging from enemy officers to electrified gates--will present themselves. Precise timing and quick reflexes are your keys to advancement. The Incredibles 3D does a great job of ratcheting up the difficulty of these chases slowly, so as not to overwhelm you.
Dodging some of the obstacles will require you to reorient the map. Many can simply be jumped, avoided, or batted away. The tactics you employ to circumnavigate these pitfalls will depend on which Incredibles family member you're currently controlling. Dash, for example, can run so fast as to be largely invulnerable.
Checkpoints are spread throughout each level. Passing one of these not only will save your progress, but will cause the camera to rotate 180 degrees--a great effect that adds some welcome visual variety. In fact, The Incredibles' in-game graphics, in general, are pretty fabulous. This is in stark contrast to many other games made with the Swerve engine. The difference is that The Incredibles manages to establish an attractive, cohesive visual style, while also mixing things up often enough to keep players interested.
The game's audio is almost as good. Some of the cinematic release's cheesy, up-tempo music has been artfully repurposed for the game, and all the sound effects fit The Incredibles' overblown comic book world to a tee.
The Incredibles 3D sticks to a simple gameplay mechanic and executes it well throughout. If you don't mind using airtime while you download additional levels to your VX8000, it will provide a decent-length challenge, as well. The Incredibles 3D may be an overblown minigame, but it's a minigame with style.