Everything these days seems to be heading towards being interactive… even television. No longer do people just sit there and consume, they're sometimes able to actually influence what takes place on the screen (and in more ways than just pretending your child has taken off in a balloon when you've actually secreted them away in your garage in order to get on the news… allegedly).
One of the exceedingly popular shows for tweens that contains that element of interactivity is Nickelodeon's Emmy-nominated iCarly (according to the website, the "i" stands for "internet" or perhaps "insanely awesome."). While the show allows people to upload pictures and video and send e-mails to the stars, it isn't fully interactive… at least not as interactive as the new iCarly videogame which is being released for the Nintendo Wii and DS next week. We here at Blogcritics were lucky enough to get some time with the DS version this week and are here to tell you all about it.
iCarly the TV show may be on Nickelodeon, but is about a web series hosted by Carly and her friends. Thus the mini-games in the iCarly videogame are organized as webisodes, at least they are in the Story Mode. The game also contains a Quick Play mode as well as a Record Challenge one and Multiplayer.
Before one gets to actually play in the Story Mode, Carly, Sam, Freddie, Spencer, Lewbert, Mandy, and Mrs. Briggs (or any combination thereof) give a brief introduction and then it's quickly off to the races as players have to do things like put noses on trees and help characters dance. For folks who have a DSi, the game also includes an extra set of mini-games which utilize the DSi's camera and microphone. One of these mini-games shows the player a random color and requires that they photograph something of that color around them (points are given for how accurate the player is and how many colors they can get through in the time allotted). Another DSi mini-game has players emulate the sounds various items (i.e., a bell and a snake) make as pictures of the items pass through a specific portion of the screen. As players progress through the game they earn points which can be used to buy items for the iCarly set and can also unlock more mini-games.
Fans of iCarly will almost certainly flock to this expansion of the franchise, but happily the mini-games require little to no knowledge of the series to be enjoyable (though non-fans may be put off by the notion of buying something iCarly) – who doesn't want to stick noses on a tree as though they were Christmas ornaments.
iCarly will be released on the Nintendo Wii and DS on October 27 and is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for Comic Mischief.