There’s no escaping the fact BodyQuest looks a little rough around the edges. It has the feel and tone of an children’s show broadcast on weekday afternoons.
That’s perhaps fitting seeing as it’s an edutainment title – but it does mean this is a game that won’t appeal to an older audience. Obviously.
Which is perhaps a shame, as although it has relatively meagre aims it achieves them with a smile. It’s just not a smile everyone will enjoy seeing.
An isometric adventure based around you exploring and learning about the inner workings of the human body, it sees you avoiding various obstacles and shooting a range of foes with fairly basic weaponry.
This part of the game is, at best, solidly designed and nothing more. The visuals are colourful and clear, but often painfully basic – and the character designs range from scarily over-joyous to bland.
In terms of the controls they feel a bit stiff despite the fact you’re racing around on a hover-board (or “nanoskate”) all of the time, and the gunplay never really develops beyond attacking then retreating. And repeat.
Despite this there are occasional design flourishes, and there’s just enough variation in the challenges that mean it won’t be entirely unappealing to younger audiences.
These action segments aren’t really educational in any way, but there are regular quiz sections to make up for that. Despite this being for kids, some of the questions are incredibly difficult – even if they are multiple choice.
There’s an option to bone up (get it – because it takes place in the human body? Never mind) on your knowledge outside of the main adventure, but it all takes the form of reading pages of text and answering more questions.
And this is our biggest issue with BodyQuest. Instead of teaching through the actual gameplay it takes the easy way out with separate question sections to cover the educational side.
This lack of ambition is no real surprise considering this is a budget title though. With a price-tag of £5.39/$5.99/€5.99 BodyQuest is aware of its limitations, and is probably worth a punt if you happen to have a child who needs to learn more about the human body.