The Muppets has always been a franchise for families, so it’s not exactly surprising to see The Muppets Movie Adventures – a brand new PlayStation Vita exclusive – strive to occupy that exact same space. Sadly, in doing so, this comedic escapade ends up being a little simplistic for its own good – even if youngsters will get some enjoyment out of it while it lasts.

In essence, this is an elementary platformer spread over a total of five levels. While that may not sound like a lot, it encompasses the same spirit of 16-bit classics, back in a time when things were much simpler. Each stage is based on a different film genre, with one of several Muppets headlining a potential blockbuster hit. From fighting your way up a spiralling, fantasy tower to practically stepping into the gothic world of Castlevania itself, each backdrop has an identity of its own, and you’re bound to like at least one.

With simple controls to fight and jump, and the odd puzzle featuring touch controlled levers and switches, the action is extremely accessible, but is augmented with a sprinkling of variety in parts. Sadly, this isn’t enough to prevent the package from feeling repetitive, as the levels are arguably a little too long – and with meaningless collectibles, there’s no real incentive to replay.

The Muppets could be the saving grace here, but even their involvement is restricted to an absolute minimum. Characters are silent – both villains and protagonists alike – making the license seem like little more than a lousy skin. Only the pre-level narrator will keep you company on these dark, winter nights, as she foretells a story that should appeal to kids.

Conclusion

With its basic controls and guilt-free deaths, The Muppets Movie Adventures is a competent place for your child to start their gaming adventure. Everyone else, though, will find this title’s lack of depth and, worse, lack of fan service a bit of a letdown.