Garfield is the most relevant character in comics today. With his laissez faire attitude about life and the way he hides his deep abiding love for his family behind a wall of standoffishness and mild abuse, he's a charming allegory for the decade we live in, an icon of our time.
What do you mean it's not the 1980s anymore? I knew I should have gotten this watch fixed.
Garfield is not the most relevant character in anything today, but he played a large part in my childhood so his current status gets a pass. I'm positive that behind every child that loves the little furry bastard there's a parent around my age, one that used to order Jim Davis' compilation books from the RIF (Reading Is Fundamental!) catalog back in elementary school. A parent that once had a Garfield sleeping bag that he'd hop around his apartment in all day, his own real-world cat trapped in the bottom (sorry Jean Claude, the French pussycat, wherever you are.)
I am one of those parents, so I respect developer Web Prancer for both keeping the character alive through a series of mobile games and for adopting the name Web Prancer in the first place.
What I do not respect is starting off the new-ish running platform game, Garfield's Escape, playing as Odie, Garfield's pet dog.
I get that it's for plot purposes. Odie's been tracking in mud, so Jon orders a menacing cleaning robot to chase the animal relentlessly through the house, waving brushes about. This is a thing you have to do to dogs. So what if Odie winds up chewing up and/or peeing all over everything in the house out of anxiety—he'll be clean.
So Odie has to run, jump and slide through the world's longest living room to escape utilizing far too many on-screen controls. There are two different jump buttons, a slide, a go downstairs button and a grab the hanging thing button, five functions that could have easily been handled by two buttons or a pair of finger swipes.
Despite the convoluted control scheme and the stupid opening protagonist (Odie is stupid, this has been established in Garfield lore), Garfield's Escape is a solid little running and jumping game, with capable 3D graphics and plenty of collectible items and unlockable wallpapers for Garfield fans old and old-sponsored. It really picks up around level five, when you finally unlock Garfield.
- Genre: Platform Runner
- Developer: Web Prancer
- Platform: Android / iOS
- Price: $1.99 Android, $.99 iOS