ESRB rating: Everyone
Review rating: 2.5 stars
Kids love to assume the identity of their favorite heroes or movie stars, so creating an enjoyable game based on the "Disney Planes" movie should be easy. However, the developers have decided to forge their own path, and as a result, "Disney Planes" isn't the high-flying ace that gamers were hoping for.
Instead of following the events of the film, this game attempts to expand the characters by blending simplistic game play with boring and repetitive missions. In addition, many of these short missions are over way too quickly. Sadly, this structure isn't enough to keep children interested for long.
Each character in mission mode has their own set of goals to achieve, but many of them end up as only slightly different versions of the same task. For example, Dusty Crophopper flies around destroying tornadoes and painting barns, but his crop-planting mechanic is nearly identical to the way Ishani harvests crops. This type of repetition is ... err ... repeated throughout the entire game.
Three additional modes are available to add variety, but they all get boring fast. Free Flight lets players fly around each level to explore the countryside while searching for puzzle pieces. Balloon Pop tasks players with popping balloons to achieve medals within a limited time frame.
The only substantial extra mode is Air Rallies, where promising pilots fly their planes through rings and checkpoints on a set course. Similar to kart racing games, this mode lets players grab various power-ups to assist their race, and it can be fun when playing side-by-side multiplayer.
Flying the planes is pretty fun when using motion controls, and it's cool to perform loops and barrel rolls. I found it odd that the boost button can be used non-stop, but it helps to make up for the standard slow speed of each plane.
Like many rushed movie tie-in games, "Disney Planes" will likely crash and burn.