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Leave 'Mania!' in the toy box

Oct 7, 2009

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Toy Story ManiaWoody and the gang are back not just at the theatre but on your smaller screen at home too. It has been approximately nine or ten years since there was a ‘Toy Story’ game and if you were going to put one together, the Wii would indeed be the best format for it.

‘Toy Story Mania’ by Disney Interactive and Papaya Studios, is aiming to the ‘Wii Sports’ for kids and does a good job of it as well, as long as you aren’t expecting too much. Inspired by theme park attractions at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's California Adventure parks, ‘Toy Story Mania’ incorporates many of the same mini-games, most involving a shooting gallery experience of some type. Using the Wii-mote, you will blow away assorted farm animals, tanks, airplanes, assorted flora and fauna, Toy Story characters and anything that happens to cross your line of sight.

Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam!

Toy Story ManiaThere is the occasional ring toss, pie throw and the ever-annoying roll-that-darn-marble-through-a-maze activity nevertheless it won’t be too long before you are blasting away at moving targets again, and again, and again.

Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam!

Like any visit to any Funland arcade near you, you can win stamps and tickets and trade them in for special prizes and rewards. By redeeming tickets, you can unlock a 3-D gameplay mode and video clips too. At least all that target practice is good for something.

Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam!

Toy Story ManiaCompared with other party games designed with kids in mind such as ‘Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise‘, ‘Toy Story Mania’ seems woefully inadequate.  There is so little variety not even  appearances by Woody, Buzz and the other characters will distract children from the game’s total lack of depth and originality. With all the colourful, memorable characters and outrageous situations in both ‘Toy Story’ movies, it is a shame that all Papaya Studios could come up with was one ‘Toy Story’ themed shooting gallery after another.

It seems there is one thing the developers and the intended audience have in common and that’s very low attention spans. ‘Toy Story Mania!’ is so monotonous we would actually welcome a brainless movie tie-in. Imagine that.

Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam!


Toy Story Mania!
Format: Nintendo Wii
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Developer: Papaya Studios
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Official Site:

Rating: 2 / 10




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G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see