Thank you Little Orbit for sending us this game to review!
Based off of the similarly titled movie, Monster High: Thirteen Wishes is available on both previous and current generation platforms. As I am not familiar with the series or movie, I am assuming the story and characters remain the same. Howleen is a student at monster high and desperately wants to become popular. She stumbles upon a genie named Gigi that offers to grant her thirteen wishes, but each wish has a dark after effect. It doesn't take long before the school is in trouble and all of Howleen's friends get trapped inside of the magic lantern. In order to save the school and Howleen, Frankie Stein must gather her friends and work together to collect the thirteen mirror shards to defeat the dark genie, Whisp.
Each friend or character has a unique ability and attack. Lagoona Blue can swim underwater while Frankie Stein can detach her hand and have it go through small openings to collect treasure. A level is completed when the mirror piece is retrieved, but you can replay it to complete the other various objectives. Some of the goals include finding a certain number of coins or defeating a set number of enemies. The violence in this game is minimal as the enemies disappear in a puff of smoke. You are also timed and one of the objectives is clearing the level under a pre-determined time.
Scattered across the levels are orbs that can grant you extra lives along with completing yet another objective if you manage to find them all. The characters share the same three life hearts that have no way of replenishing after taking a long fall or damage from an enemy. If all of the lives and orbs are used up, the player is transported back to the nearly vacant high school.
I can understand the desert themed levels to be vast and empty, but the school is unnaturally so. It needs more life, furniture, anything to make it more believable. There are a few different types of monsters, but overall this game is very bland. While the game does utilize the 3D effects, I played mostly in 2D to prevent headaches from watching the game at the wrong angle.
The controls and puzzles are not incredibly complex and are clearly geared towards a younger audience. I have never been a fan of jumping puzzles and this game definitely has them. Many areas are only accessible for certain characters that you have to first unlock and then select in the level. I like how you can switch friends seamlessly; I just wish they had separate health bars instead of sharing the same one.
As I mentioned earlier, I hate jumping puzzles. To add insult to injury the jumping mechanics in this game are inaccurate. I'm quite experienced in wall to wall jumping, but in this game it's quite a chore. Add on top of that repetitive feminine sighs from the character when falling, and it gets annoying really fast. I hope little girls have more patience than I do.
Surprisingly though, my kids (son included) enjoyed playing this game. While we're not familiar with the series, this game does not make me a fan. Sadly, like many movie based video games, this one falls flat. I only recommend this game for die hard Monster High fans. If you're looking for a fun and girly platformer game, I would suggest checking out Super Princess Peach instead.