×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal; Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck

It's no surprise to see Warner Bros.' inhouse videogame unit tapping the studio's rich library of Looney Tunes characters for a pair of new games. It's only shocking to see how radically different they came out.

It’s no surprise to see Warner Bros.’ inhouse videogame unit tapping the studio’s rich library of Looney Tunes characters for a pair of new games. It’s only shocking to see how radically different they came out. ”Acme Arsenal,” which stars Bugs Bunny and all his pals, is a completely generic action game that’s shockingly devoid of any of the Looney Tunes’ signature zaniness. ”Duck Amuck,” in which players complete a series of short, funny games with the express goal of driving Daffy Duck crazy, is one of the most original and clever titles for the Nintendo DS to date. Latter could become a cult favorite among gamers of any age, while ”Acme Arsenal” is sure to disappear amid the dozens of far superior actioners on the market.

”Duck Amuck” is based on the Looney Tunes short of the same name, a post-modern classic in which Daffy is tortured by an animator who constantly changes the short-tempered fowl’s appearance, location and even his voice. Translating the cartoon to the DS, with its touch-sensitive screen and microphone, is an inspired idea, since it lets players harass Daffy in the same way, becoming a virtual Chuck Jones.

Goal of the game is explicitly to drive Daffy crazy via a series of short mini-games, most of which involve getting him blown up by dynamite. Though there are a few standard games like music simulations and mazes, developer WayForward came up with some truly original ideas. One involves closing the DS and pushing buttons based on Daffy’s voice instructions, while another has players blowing to extinguish his candle in a spooky house at just the right moment.

Game also captures Daffy’s character perfectly. Torturing him is fun not only because it’s a refreshing change from trying to make the main character of a vidgame win, but because Daffy responds with his trademark caustic wit, taunting the player with lines like, ”Confidentially, you stink.” He’s also fully aware that he’s in a videogame, commenting after one painful encounter, ”So much for the E rating.”

The Daffy from ”Duck Amuck” would surely have choice words for ”Acme Arsenal.” Built around a confusing and poorly developed story in which the evil Dr. Frankenbean tries to kill all of the Looney Tunes’ ancestors, it’s essentially about Bugs, Daffy, Taz and the gang fighting an endless stream of robots in historical settings like ancient Egypt and World War I.

Players expecting Bugs to dig holes, chew on carrots and crack wise will be sorely disappointed. Instead, he runs around poorly designed levels using a banjo — huh? — to beat up Dr. Frankenbean’s robots. Each level features two characters, which one player can alternate or two can control together, but the only difference is what weapon they hold. Daffy has a mallet, Foghorn Leghorn uses his fists, and so on. They can also pick up cartoon-inspired weapons, the titular ”acme arsenal,” such as an extending boxing glove.

As a standard action game, ”Acme Arsenal” is mediocre. Graphics are weak, goals are unclear, and levels end suddenly and without explanation. But as a Looney Tunes game, it’s a true disappointment, because there’s nothing crazy, zany or clever about it. As Daffy might say, ”That’s despicable.”

Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal; Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck

Rated E 10+. $29.99-$39.99; Rated E. $29.99.

Production: ACME ARSENAL: A Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment presentation of a game developed by RedTribe for the PlayStation 2, Wii, and Xbox 360. DUCK AMUCK: A Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment presentation of a game developed by WayForward Technologies for the DS.

More Digital

  • Adam Driver appears in The Report

    Amazon’s ‘The Report’ Gets U.K. Theatrical Release Ahead of Streaming Launch

    Amazon Studio’s “The Report” will be released theatrically in the U.K. three weeks before it lands on the Prime Video streaming service. The Scott Z. Burns film tells the story of Daniel J. Jones, a U.S. Senate staffer who worked to reveal that truth about an “enhanced interrogation” program run by the CIA in the [...]

  • Netflix HQ LA

    Netflix Engineers Developed a Rumble Pack Feature During Latest Hack Day

    A duo of Netflix employees had a unique idea for making the service’s shows even more stirring: They added a rumble pack option to the Netflix app as part of the company’s latest hack day. When watching shows like “Voltron,” the feature makes phones vibrate in sync with the action on the screen, similar to [...]

  • Apple - iPhone-XR-launch-Covent-Garden-London

    Apple Warns New Tariffs Would Impact iPhones, iPads, Macs

    Apple has told U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer in a filing that all of its major products would be impacted if the U.S. enacted a fourth round of tariffs in its escalating trade war with China. CNBC was first to report about the filing Thursday. “The proposed tariff list covers all of Apple’s major products, [...]

  • Amazon Music

    Amazon Music Launches on Comcast's Xfinity X1 Set-Tops

    Amazon Music is rolling out on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 — the first pay-TV distribution deal for the ecommerce company’s music service. The cable operator’s addition of Amazon Music comes six months after it added Amazon Prime Video to the X1 lineup. Prime Video quickly became one of the most-used apps on the service, which prompted [...]

  • The Frontier

    Conecta Fiction: Project Pitches Prizes Passed Out in Pamplona

    On Wednesday evening the Spanish city of Pamplona was overrun, not by bulls, but by hopeful TV creators who had spent the early week pitching their projects at Conecta Fiction, and who anxiously waited to find out the titles which would take home silverware. Meanwhile, “Monzón,” a Disney-Pampa-Incaa production portraying the tragic violence of Argentine [...]

  • YouTube logo

    Why Splitting Up YouTube Is a Terrible Idea

    Facing mounting pressure over failures to protect children from inappropriate content, Google is reportedly considering a number of changes to its video sharing site YouTube. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that one of the ideas circulated internally was to effectively split up YouTube, and spin out all children’s content into the existing YouTube Kids [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content