Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue Special Edition

FindinNemoBigBlueFinding Nemo fans can experience their favorite fish in 3D in theaters and in the palm of their hands on the Nintendo 3DS with regular viewing and comparable gameplay on the Nintendo DS.


Based on the Pixar/Disney animated feature film, Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue features all ages, single player video game offers more than 30 mini games challenges with adventure, strategy, and puzzle gameplay elements. This one player game has great cut-scenes from the film, decent gameplay and good challenges for the kids.

Playable characters include Nemo, Dory, Marlin (Nemo’s father), and the seven-member “Tank Gang”, which begins with Bubbles, Bloat, and Peach the starfish.  Each fish gets their own character specific min game set (three total) and settings including the ocean reef and customizable aquariums.

The game modes are baggy mode, mini games, and interactive reef. The baggy mode scenario concentrates on the Tank Gang’s escape from the dentist’s office where players roll the fish around in their…you guessed it…baggies. Successful completion here unlocks character to play in the mini game mode where players earn sea tokens then buy items for the customizable interactive reef.

Like many all ages level games this title has no selectable level of difficulty, but gradually increases through the higher levels and/or missions. The built-in tutorial before each mini game, helpful cues that show control visuals and basic text instructions all provide good help, so most little tykes should not have many problems completing missions in the mini game format.

The game even offers subtitles for easier readability, so player need basic reading ability to fully enjoy this game. No big gameplay revelations here, so players can easily engage with the familiar formats. The puzzles are enjoyable and provide mild challenges. Unlockables are relatively easy while more competitive players can always try to beat the high score.

The touch screen controls are smooth, especially during the races, though swimming movements through obstacles takes some practice. Players hit the L or R buttons to jump while special actions include blowing into the mic for speed boosts in baggy mode.

The musical score sounds like a Little Mermaid variation at first, but does not offer any selections from the original film. Other sound elements include seagulls’ repetitive, but entertaining “Mine!” A decent title that blends between cut scenes and story well while adding glasses-free 3D viewing in the Nintendo 3DS version. Great replay value for the kids and moderately enjoyable gameplay for the adults.

Note: this game reveals some plot points of the first Finding Nemo film.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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