Universal Pictures creates Despereaux game for Nintendo DS


Mumbai: Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group (UPDPG) has created a handheld video game for the Nintendo DS based on Universal Pictures’ upcoming animated-adventure feature film, The Tale of Despereaux. The game is being developed by Fizz Factor, a Foundation 9 Studio, in conjunction with UPDPG and will be published worldwide by Brash Entertainment. The title is the second self-funded game UPDPG has announced this year.

The Tale of Despereaux handheld game shares the rich look and fairytale feel of the upcoming holiday film of the same name, and will both follow and extend the storyline from the feature film. Players will travel across the Kingdom of Dor, from the whimsical environs of Mouse World to the kitchen, library and other colorful rooms of the main castle, and finally, to the dark and sinister dungeon domain of the banned and feared rats, Rat World. In this modern fairytale about a small mouse born too brave for his little world, several unlikely heroes will discover that what you look like doesn’t equal what you are.

The Tale of Despereaux handheld game will release alongside the feature film, and in conjunction with the console versions of the videogame, including the XBOX 360, PLAYSTATION2 computer entertainment system, the Wii videogame system from Nintendo, and PC, this December 2008.

Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Watson and Tracey Ullman lead an all-star voice cast in the animated motion picture based on the Newbery Medal-winning children’s bestseller. Directed by Sam Felland Rob Stevenhagen and produced by Gary Ross and Allison Thomas, The Tale of Despereaux movie features the additional voice talent of Kevin Kline, William H. Macy, Stanley Tucci, Ciaran Hinds, Robbie Coltrane, Tony Hale, Frances Conroy, Frank Langella, Richard Jenkins, Christopher Lloyd, James Nesbitt and Sigourney Weaver.

"The Tale of Despereaux is fantastic source material for family-oriented interactive games with its story of courage and bravery and Despereaux’s adventures both as a mouse and as a knight-in-training," said Bill Kispert, vice president and general manager, interactive, Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group. "The Nintendo DS game cleverly plays with the scale of the world as our hero journeys through more than 30 levels of grand gameplay using amazing acrobatic moves and solving unique challenges that will entertain Despereaux fans of all ages."

Players will help Despereaux build up his courage meter while he learns new abilities; challenge a host of creepy-crawly enemies including bugs, spiders and rats; and explore the nooks and crannies of the castle on a quest to rescue Despereaux’s beloved Princess Pea. The game utilizes unique and exciting movement mechanics like swinging, climbing and sliding, as well as challenging puzzle elements designed specifically for the Nintendo DS’ stylus input, such as using candles and other forms of light to Despereaux’s advantage. In addition, the game features unlockable levels, costumes, and other secrets throughout for players to discover.

The Tale of Despereaux will be available for Nintendo DS, the Nintendo Wii videogame system, XBOX 360, PLAYSTATION2 computer entertainment system and PC on 2 December.