A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game revolves around Scooby and Shaggy running errands for a strange woman they meet in the swamp. Their motiviation lies in them wanting the food she has offered to give them. So, yes, taking food from strangers is the main plot point of the game.That said, they also solve puzzles.
Positive Role Models
Scooby and Shaggy have always been somewhat questionable role models, although their good qualities (overcoming fear, helping their friends, etc.) usually trump the bad ones (cowardice, laziness, etc.). In this particular story, though, pretty much everything they do is motivated by hunger, which knocks their nobility down a notch.
Ease of Play
The controls are nice and easy to handle, but some of the mission objectives you'll need to meet along the way can be frustratingly difficult to figure out. Some sort of hint system, to nudge you toward what your supposed to do next, would have been helpful.
Violence & Scariness
There's a lot of hand-to-hand fighting between the Scooby gang and various ghosts and monsters (skeletons, werewolves, snowmen, etc.). Kicks and punches are thrown. Scooby hits enemies with a chain of sausage links. Shaggy fires a slingshot at the bad guys. Giant spider enemies release a squirt of green liquid when destroyed.
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Not unless you're offended by "zoinks!"
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Products & Purchases
The game is a tie-in to the vast and long-running Scooby-Doo franchise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the plot of Scooby-Doo and the Spooky Swamp revolves around Scooby-Doo and Shaggy working for a voodoo-priestess-type stranger they meet in a swamp -- so that they can earn a promised snack from her. There's a good deal of cartoony fighting in the game and some scary-looking villains. However, there's also a nice mix of puzzle play, some of which can be quite challenging. One chapter of the story features Mexican characters who speak in exaggerated accents.
Is It Any Good?
Scooby-Doo and the Spooky Swamp feels a bit stale after last year's First Frights. A lot of the gameplay is identical, but the storytelling isn't as tight (and the plot here is pretty ludicrous, even for Scooby-Doo). Still, there are some very good points to the game. Most notable among them is the great co-op play. A second player can hop in and out whenever he wants, and the game has puzzles built around the different skills of each character. There's also a really fun reward system that allows you to buy costume pieces that you can mix and match to dress up your character at any time (even mid-level). Spooky Swamp is worth playing for Scooby fans; just don't expect to be blown away.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.