With the temperatures rising in the air, while cooling in your local pool party, the time is right for barbecues, beer, boardshorts and bikinis… and blockbusters. That’s right, it’s almost summertime, and with summer comes the summer blockbuster season at the movies. And, as Wreck-It Ralph taught us, blockbuster movies and licensed movie tie-in games go hand-in-hand, like Q-Bert and cherries.
Family-friendly movies have never been one to shy away from aggressive licensing, which is why two of 2013’s anticipated can’t-miss kiddie flicks already have announced that there will be tie-in games released prior to their theatrical debut: Sony Pictures’ The Smurfs 2 and Disney’s Planes. One of these games will be released exclusively to one company, and in a twist worthy of the movies itself, it’s not the one you’re thinking.
The 2011 summer movie season gave us the rebirth of the Smurfs franchise, as the adorable blue creatures who love to Smurf the whole day long got hit with the harsh reality of the real world New York City, filled with people who would rather tell them to Smurf off. This year, the sequel, The Smurfs 2 hits theaters with the sorcerer Gargamel creating evil versions of Smurfs while kidnapping the beloved Smurfette.
Players will be able to aid in the quest to save Smurfette in the video game version of The Smurfs 2, developed by Ubisoft and Wayforward and published by Ubisoft in conjunction with Sony. Players take control of some of the most popular Smurfs, each with a unique ability, including Papa Smurf and his magic potions, Grouchy Smurf and his thunderous stomp, and Vanity Smurf and his poses, providing other players taller platform access. Those who choose to help the smurfs on the Wii U also have access to a new Smurf from the cartoon series, Clockwork Smurf, using the Wii U Gamepad.
The Smurfs 2 can also be found on handheld consoles, more resembling an interactive storybook featuring mini-games as opposed to the home console’s platforming structure. The Smurfs 2, although a Sony Pictures film, will be released on all major platforms in July 2013.
Sony may not have a PlayStation exclusive in The Smurfs 2, but Nintendo locked up a Disney exclusive, which bodes well for the company going through a bit of a struggle currently. The game tie-in for Disney’s Planes will be exclusive to Nintendo consoles, releasing just days before the film’s August 9th theatrical release.
The Cars spin-off centers around a crop-dusting plane named (appropriately) Dusty who wants to compete in the world of air racing. Players will fly Dusty and his cohorts in various mission-based levels which will include Story modes, Air Rallies, and Challenges. The Wii/Wii U versions will also feature couch co-op features.
Disney’s Planes will hit retail shelves August 6, three days before the film, featuring the voicework of Dane Cook and Val Kilmer, hits theaters.