Yogi Bear: The Video Game is based on the live action/computer generated-hybrid Warner Bros. film. The player plays the game as Yogi Bear. Ranger Smith has lost his collection of wild animal photos. He was hoping to draw new visitors to the park with these photos. Yogi volunteers to save Jellystone Park from being shut down by finding and snapping pictures a variety of endangered animals in their natural habitat throughout Jellystone Park. Some of the areas of Jellystone you get to explore include Lookout Mountain, Wilderness Trail, Jellystone Lake and Eagle Mountain.
Yogi Bear: The Video Game is a side scrolling, platform jumping, arcade style video game with Yogi traveling throughout the park collecting pic-a-nic baskets and slices of pie by jumping up into them or swinging through them. You basically move from level to level by jumping from platform to platform, swinging on vines, etc. You can also belly flop, slide and crawl. There are three hidden merit badges on each level. In the beginning they are fairly easy to spot. As the levels progress they get harder. You get the merit badges the same way you do the pic-a-nic baskets and pie – by jumping into them. When you have enough merit badges, you’re allowed to move to the next area of the park. While you’re traveling, you are also picking up a variety of parts and pieces you need to build gadgets that will let you access hidden areas of the park.
There are different animals that can kill you on each level like skunks, hawks and porcupines so you have to avoid them as well. When Yogi does get hit by these animals or runs into them, he just spins around and dies so there’s no blood or overt violence. You also need to avoid the campers throughout the park because Ranger Rick doesn’t want you pestering them.
You hold the Wii remote sideways and use the one and two keys and the arrows to move, jump, belly flop, etc. It starts out fairly simple with running and basic jumps but gets more complicated fairly quickly with running and jumping to catch swinging vines and belly flopping down a hill while avoiding porcupines. The game randomly saves at certain spots and if you die you are returned to the last saved spot. But, if you die enough times on one level, you are returned to the beginning of the level to start the whole thing all over again. This gets to be really frustrating when you are returned over and over again to replay whole sections because you cannot master one particular challenge. There are different ways you can travel through each level but you cannot avoid the challenges completely. I had to repeat the first level over and over again to get to the end. Since this is rated E for everyone, I can see how this might be really frustrating to the younger players. You play only as a single player on this game. There is no two player option.
All in all, this is a fun game to play. It takes a bit to get the hang of the controls and the sounds & voices are rather basic and occasionally repetitive. It’s challenging enough to keep your attention and there are various different ways you can get through each level so there are enough options to keep it interesting. This is a great option for parents looking for a non-violent video game that isn’t too “young” for pre-teens and is clean enough for them to play.
Yogi Bear: The Video Game is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for Comic Mischief. This game can also be found on: Nintendo DS.