Who you gonna call? The dogs, apparently.
Paw Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls is a very simple platformer game and it’s most definitely aimed at kids, so bear that in mind before you bemoan the lack of RPG systems and progressive skill trees. But that would be a better game, right?
Adventure City Calls has our cartoon canines running around the city in pairs, saving the humans from the disasters they’ve gotten themselves into.
It’s really simple stuff and each level is broken up into different sections, with the first part having your pups run through a linear route collecting pup treats and doing some easy platforming. There’s nothing too difficult, though finding all of the pup treats and the shields is a bit of a challenge; I rarely managed to find every pup treat, but the shields were easy enough. It helps that they are big and red…
Breaking up the downtown walkies are some simple tasks that use each of the pup’s special abilities. Rubble drills through piled-up rocks. Chase can grapple up to high places and zipline across rooftops. Marshal can use his axes to break away piles of wood, and so on. These are really simple interactions needing no more than a short movement of the stick and a bash of a button. Easy enough for younger players, then, but maybe a little too easy.
My boy, Charlie, is five now, and he was four when we played the last Paw Patrol game. He really liked that one, but he’s definitely a little colder on Adventure City Calls. A combination of discovering other things like Minecraft VR, Spider-Man, and… Maneater… means the simplicity of Paw Patrol doesn’t quite grip him like it used to.
Then there are the vehicle sections which play out like something you’d see in a mobile game. All you need to do is flick the stick to move the vehicle across the three lanes, avoiding the obstacle and collecting those previous pup treats.
These sections were actually really difficult to get all of the pup treats as you have to have absolute timing to move across the lanes to get the treats before they pass you by. In fact, I’m not even sure if it’s possible to get them all. I’m an experienced player with “mad gamer skills” and I couldn’t get them all.
And that’s your lot, basically. Each level is a variation of the last, for the most part, and there’s lots of recycling with the levels all being really similar and really easy. For me, that made it a drag, but to be fair, Charlie didn’t seem to notice and I don’t think that’s because he’s especially slow – I just think the kids this game is aimed at really just won’t care about the same things we old-timers care about.
Something Charlie did notice is the lack of challenge – he’s old enough now to appreciate being beaten by games and the thrill of a comeback, but Paw Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls doesn’t offer any of that because the pups don’t really have any enemies. Their greatest enemy is the lack of self-preservation of the world’s humans. Honestly, have you ever watched the TV show and thought “how the heck aren’t the dogs running this world?” I have, and I’m eagerly awaiting the gritty reboot: Planet of the Pups. “Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty dog!”
Paw Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls plays to its intended audience and for those little tykes getting started with video games, you couldn’t really ask for much more. It’s easy to play, there’s two-player co-op, and a bunch of minigames that aren’t half bad in two-player mode – just be ready to get pup-pup boogie stuck in your head, again…
Paw Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls PS5, PS4 Review
Paw Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls is more of the same gentle platforming and collecting that will only really appeal to the younger, less experienced players. Two-player mode is a highlight and the mini-games offer some silly fun once the main missions have been beaten. It’s all over quite quickly, though, and it may not keep your pups going until the inevitable sequel.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS4. Reviewed using PS5.