Games: Part 2

Gift guide

Games: Part 2

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

PlayStation2, Xbox, GameCube

Activision, $39.99

On the front of the new Lemony Snicket video game, a promotional tie-in to the upcoming movie, there is a big "E," which stands for "everyone," meaning the people for whom the game is suitable. It's a lie. This game is clearly for little people only – little people with little coordination who are obsessed enough with the series or the movie to enjoy clicking one button continually for half an hour in order to make a fat man stop throwing spaghetti and meatballs at them. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is truly a series of unfortunate events, wherein you – as one of the three Baudelaire orphans – must wander around a mansion looking for stuff. Once you find enough stuff, the game has you cobble it together into one of Violet's "inventions," with which you then must overcome some obstacle (i.e., a fat man, dancing ladies, rats, spiders, etc.). The highlight of the game is the youngest of the Baudelaire siblings, Sunny, who is a baby. There is a sick pleasure in watching her lifeline decrease in the upper right-hand corner of the screen as she toddles along some rickety pipe, jumping over rats and scalding steam and biting through obstacles with her giant teeth. She makes great baby sounds and munching noises. Activision has made an admirable attempt at transferring the dark humor and quirky details of the series to your TV screen, and despite the tedium of the game, it's still a must-have for the truly Snicket-obsessed kid in your life. Just remember that it's more fun to read about unfortunate events than it is to go through them yourself.

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