The Smurfs – Mission Vileaf – A Competent 3D Platformer With Beautiful Visuals

Developed By: OSome Studios

Published By: Microids

Genres: 3D Platformer

Thank you so much to Microids for providing a Steam (PC) review code.

In the past licensed games were a dime a dozen in the video game space. It seems like every Disney movie that was ever made got its platformer during the SNES era. Even now we still see licensed games coming out for PC & consoles but unlike in the past, often licensed games today are met with negative critical reception. Many publishers have taken the chance to make licensed games as a way to rip off fans of the source material and make half-baked experiences. The Smurfs Mission Vileaf may not be the most unique 3D platformer out there, but I can definitely say there’s some heart put behind this game. However, there’s also significant room for improvement as well.

Game Summary

  • The Smurf’s Mission Vileaf is a 3D platformer that sees you controlling 4 different Smurfs from the famous television series. You control Hefty, Brainy, Chef and Smurfette as you take them across multiple locations in the Smurf world.
  • Our adventure begins with the classic storybook introduction done by the one and only Papa Smurf. We learn that some of the Smurf’s have mysteriously gone missing. Along with the missing Smurf’s the Smurf Village and all of the areas surrounding it have been contaminated causing evil plants to grow.
  • With many Smurfs mysteriously missing we begin our journey has Hefty Smurf who goes on a quest to find his friends. During his journey we learn that a flower imbued with evil energy called the Vileaf has caused all of the Smurf world to become contaminated. Even worse it seems that Gargamel the Smurf’s old nemesis may have had a hand in creating the Vileaf.
  • Now the Smurf’s are on a smurfingly important quest to rid the Smurf world of the Vileaf by collecting 3 special ingredients to create a concotion that can destroy the Vileaf.
  • For the most part The Smurf’s Mission Vileaf is all about platforming and going from one location to another. There are hovering platforms and mushrooms to bounce onto all around each location. The platforming never asks too much from you, but does try to keep it relatively fresh.
  • Each of the new locations you come to will bring new platforming challenges such as dissapearing platforms, giant swinging vines and more.
  • Beside’s the platforming the other main mechanic is curing the world of the evil vegetation created by the Vileaf. To combat against the Vileaf, Handy Smurf has created The Smurfizer.
  • The Smurfizer is a tool that’s used to cure the Vileaf’s corrupted plant. The Smurfizer sprays a healing liquid onto the corrupted plants to cure them.
  • The Smurfizer is your multi-purpose tool that is used to, grow plants and flowers to create platforms to walk across specific areas, it’s used to heal the Vileaf’s corrupted plants, and it’s also used for combat.
  • Throughout your journey as each of the 4 Smurf’s you can find and pickup items such as presents, tree bark, bottles, seeds and Mandrakes. These items can be given to Handy Smurf who will provide upgrades to your Smurfizer.
  • The upgrade tree is actually quite expansive and provides a good incentive to gather these items. The items are never too far out of reach, but sometimes require platforming challenges, small puzzles, or time-based challenges to be completed before gathering them.
  • Sometimes vines will grow around the items you need to collect. In order to gather these items you’ll have to cure the mushrooms in the surrounding area. Mushrooms must all be cured in a small time window in order to push away the vines surrounding them.
  • As you progress further into the game’s main story, your Smurfizer will gain upgrades such as a hovering ability (kinda like the F.L.U.D from Super Mario Sunshine) a dash ability to break through walls and other obstacles and a vaccuum function to suck up and shoot out objects and enemies.
  • Due to the fact that you don’t begin the game with all of these upgrades, there will be some backtracking to do beyond the main story, if you want to collect everything.
  • Mission Vileaf wouldn’t be a 3D platformer without some form of combat system. The Vileaf can create its own minions to stop the Smurf’s from curing it. When you enter into combat, somtimes you’ll be locked into an area where you have to defeat each of the minions to break free.
  • Luckily, the Vileaf’s minions can be defeated by spraying them with The Smurfizer. So, combat involves simply doding a few attacks while spraying down the minions.
  • Some of the enemies are a little different from one another and may require some alternative methods to defeat them. For the most part combat doesn’t play out too differently
  • Your quests to destroy the Vileaf will bring you to many different locations that are all contained within 4 areas. In the pause menu you can check each area and see what % of each area you have cured.
  • Smurf Village acts as a sort of hub world between missions, and is where you go to purchase upgrades. The village is broken into 4 areas and curing an entire area of Smurf Village unlocks a new color spray for The Smurfizer.
  • What shocked me the most about The Smurfs Mission Vileaf is how nice the visuals look. The game explodes with color and charming cartoony designs. The world looks amazing and it seems the developers really spent some time assuring that the visuals would be very eye-catching.
  • There are 3 different difficulty options to play with and each one can be changed at any time during a playthrough.
  • Roughly anywhere from 6-12 hours of gameplay depending on if you want to collect every item or not.
  • 20+ achievements.
  • Voice acted cutscenes.

Pros

  • A nice entry to the 3D platforming genre with a little bit of everything built into it.
  • Tight platforming controls
  • Simple & efficient platforming challenges that are always adding a few new mechanics
  • Tons of items to collect
  • Multiple difficulty options
  • Beautiful cartoon visuals
  • Useful upgrade system

Neutral

  • The game offers a co-op mode, but doesn’t allow player two to play as one of the Smurf’s. Player two must play as a little robot that really only serves as a helper instead of being an actual player.
  • Voice acting is a mixed bag.
  • Healing the areas with the Smurfizer is one of the game’s main mechanics and while it is unique, it can start to get old pretty quickly. This is especially apparent if you’re a completionist trying to complete each area.

Cons

  • Each of the 4 playable Smurfs play the exact same. Not giving each of the Smurf’s their own unique ability was a significant oversight.
  • Relatively dull combat even on the higher difficulties.
  • Some of the visual designs for the levels despite looking very nice, are overused.
  • Smurf Village could have felt livelier as the hub world. The addition of some minigames or even sidequests could have gone a long way to making it feel even more alive.
  • Long load times (this could be due to my computer, but I had more then the recommended specifications and had no problems running the rest of the game).

Final Thoughts

Story
Gameplay
Visuals & Sound
Accessibility
Bang For Your Buck/Replayability
Unique Game Design

My Purchase Price: Buy at $20-25$ (Note prices are in USD)

7/10

The Smurf’s Mission Vileaf is an entertaining journey through the Smurf world that surprised me in its level of polish. All of the platforming is simple yet well-designed and the controls are great. I rarely ever felt like I had to fight with the camera which made each new platforming challenge feel exciting to try. The developers did make it clear that the intended audience for this game are kids, although the game is meant for “All 3D platforming fans”. So, because it is meant for all fans I can’t overlook the game’s shortcomings. Having the 4 playable smurf’s play the exact same was an unfortunate decision that hurt the game overall. Furthermore, the combat can get dull pretty quickly and I think Smurf Village could have been better designed as a hub world. That being said this is still a well-polished 3D platformer that I think all fans of the genre will find something they like about it. So, if you want to spend a good 6 or more hours having some smurfing fun then I think this is worth checking out.

Note: At launch Xbox One & Nintendo Switch players may not have multiplayer available. The publisher has told us about this and assures us that it should come shortly after launch.

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