Back at the Barnyard Slop Bucket Games for Nintendo DS is based on the Nickelodeon TV show that is a spin-off of the Barnyard movie from 2006. In the game you compete in 10 mini games to try to be the Slop Bucket champion. At the beginning of the game you choose from a few different cows that are either male or female to compete in the events.
When you are not playing the mini games you will be running around the barnyard with your cow to find parts that are needed to assemble the events. Good thing they added this minor diversion in the game, since if they didn’t you could probably beat the game in an hour, but by making you run around it extends the game to maybe a little under two hours to beat.
The 10 mini games that make up Back at the Barnyard Slop Bucket Games are as follows:
- Cowpult: Shoot a cow out of a catapult as you try to maneuver him through the air to hit targets.
- Chicken Launch: Launch chickens at moving targets while trying not to hit Otis the cow who tries to block you.
- Whack-A-Rac: This is a version of Whack-A-Mole, where you try to hit the bad guys that pop-out of the holes while trying not to hit the good guys.
- Melon Race: Race around a track by yourself in a pickup truck while trying not to lose the melons in the back of the truck.
- Shufflemuck: This is basically air hockey with a smashed pop can.
- Balloon Shepherd: Navigate an area in a hot air balloon while picking up cows and taking them back to the barn. Do all of this in a certain time period while trying not to run out of hot air.
- Sorting Chicks: Little chicks will travel down a conveyor belt and you have to drag the pink ones into the pink basket and the blue ones into the blue basket.
- Junkyard Hijinks: Drive around a junkyard in a car following an arrow Crazi Taxi style to the next flag. Collect the flags and hit jumps to earn points.
- Flag Defender: Shoot tomatoes by taping the touch screen at raccoons that are trying to steal the three flags on the screen.
- Stickbike Stunts: This game will remind you a little of ExciteBike. You race across the screen while doing forward and backward flips to earn points.
Some of the games above are entertaining and if you don’t have an air hockey game yet for Nintendo DS then you might enjoy Shufflemuck, but this selection of games and the length of the game in general really makes it hard to recommend for the suggested retail price of $29.99.
The graphics in the game are decent and look pretty good for a Nintendo DS game. The racing games are in 3D and move along at a decent pace, but remember you are the only car or truck on the track. Navigating the map is easy and having the map on the top screen helps you know where to go next.
All of the controls in Back at the Barnyard Slop Bucket Games are also pretty easy to use and will involve you either using the digital pad and a couple of buttons or the stylus to control the mini-games. I didn’t have any problems controlling any of the events and this part of the game seems pretty polished.
The music is okay and synthesized in Back at the Barnyard Slop Bucket Games. None of it was very special, but it fit in with the game and wasn’t distracting. There is very little voice-acting, so I can’t comment much on it other than to say that the characters sounded like the ones in the show to me. Also, almost all the dialog in the game is written, so if a younger child is playing this, then they may not know what is going on in the story. This doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy the game, since you really don’t need to read any of the storyline to move through the game. There isn’t that much story anyways, so they won’t miss much.
The mini games in Back at the Barnyard Slop Bucket Games are broken up into 3 days of events, so some of the mini games you will need to participate in each of the days ,but others you only have to participate in once or twice depending on which day they fall on. You have to score 3rd or better in the first day events to move on to the 2nd day. On the 2nd day you have to get 2nd or better to move on and on the 3rd day you need to score gold in all of the events to beat the game. Once again, I did all of that in less than 2 hours.
Back at the Barnyard Slop Bucket Games was somewhat entertaining for the couple of hours I played it, and younger kids may enjoy it more, since it might take them longer to beat. Younger children may also enjoy going back and playing the mini games over and over, but I don’t see myself touching the game again. Having only 10 mini-games available with not much else to do for $29.99, really seems like THQ and Nickelodeon were trying to cash in on the Barnyard license more than publish a long lasting and entertaining game.
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