It’s officially been 10 years since the first Phineas and Ferb game came out, so I played all of them to pit them against each other, and find out which the best one was.
For those who are unaware of this amazing cartoon from the Disney Channel, you are missing out. It’s about two genius brothers who are trying to find something new to do each day of their summer holiday out of school. Build a rollercoaster, create a ski mountain in their garden, become a superhero… These kids did it all across the four seasons of their show, while their sister Candace tried to get their mum to catch them in the act - and always failed due to amazing coincidences. Meanwhile (as in, whilst the boys were doing stuff), their pet platypus Perry was usually off being a secret agent (you can call him Agent P) and foiling the evil Dr Doofenshmirtz as he tried to take over the entire tri-state area!
The show was smart, funny, had great songs, and hid more than a few jokes that the kids wouldn’t get. I was hoping for more of that in these games.
7. Phineas and Ferb
Honestly, it seemed like someone gave Altron some graphical assets, a brief synopsis and told them to make a game. The plot is that Phineas & Ferb are building a roller coaster, which involves wandering around the neighbourhood finding parts for it. There’s a lot of platforming, but the main crux is building this roller coaster track and upgrading the roller coaster cart so that you can collect stars when you ride it. Occasionally while exploring, Candace comes after you and you have to collect screws in a PAC-MAN-style maze to escape her.
The graphics are very pixely for 3D polygons, the music is very generic instead of even being inspired by the show, and it relies heavily on using the stylus and touch screen. A very weak game overall.
6. Phineas and Ferb Ride Again
Marginally better than Phineas & Ferb, it’s a direct sequel in more ways than one, sharing assets and plot elements. Except instead of a roller coaster, the boys are building a skateboard racing track. This again involves platforming around town looking for parts, and avoiding Candace in a PAC-MAN-style maze while you collect screws. You also have to race three others on skateboards, and there are Mega Man-esque levels with Agent P using a sausage and his hat as weapons against Dr Doofenshmirtz’s robots as you infiltrate his lair.
There are sections in the main levels with intense framerate drops early on, which you would have thought might come up during quality assurance… The game handles and looks better than the first, but the music is still super generic. At least it doesn’t require you to have the stylus in your hand just to climb a ladder.
5. Phineas and Ferb: Day of Doofenshmirtz
Virtual Toys (2015)
This is an action game with pretty open levels, and tons of enemies. Dr Doofenshmirtz has had it with store return policies, so as revenge he’s going to control all technology in Danville - including Phineas & Ferb’s new Carsaurus Moto-Rex. They had just built it to take on a TV monster truck, and it rampages away through town with the boys on its trail. There are also sideways scrolling shoot ‘em up levels, featuring Agent P in a ship trying to reach “Dr Doof’s Base” aboard a zeppelin?
The show had actually been cancelled by the time this came out, which probably explains the off-brand theme music (not song) at the start, and none of the characters being voiced at all. It’s an alright game and looks great, but lacks so much of the franchise’s charm. The script is quite fun, but the combat is dodgy, and those Agent P levels are so out of place.
4. Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff
Behaviour Interactive (2013)
Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360
Another side scroller, this time you’re playing as the brothers in an All Terrain Transformatron (A.T.T.), collecting things to put in your Museum of Cool. Also, you play as Agent P as he infiltrates Doofenshmirtz Evil Inc. to foil Dr Doofenshmirtz. Surprisingly, the DS version is almost on par with the other versions, except that it has no character voices, and there are some level design changes. Also, the graphics are a little inferior, but I’ve got to admit Behaviour Interactive did a great job of porting it.
There are several songs from the show used as background music, but the level designs are very linear so my feelings are mixed. Still, it’s pretty fun, though I wonder if it actually started life as a Phineas and Ferb game.
3. Where’s My Perry
Disney Interactive Studios (2012)
A premium mobile game, where you have to power Agent P’s pneumatic tube so he can get to foil Dr Doofenshmirtz’ latest diabolical plot. This is done by clearing dirt in such a way that it will make water or steam enter a vent. The puzzles, of course, got harder the further you went, and there wasn’t really an “end” to the game.
With art, music and voices from the show, as well as replayability to get all of the stars, I really enjoyed this. However, it’s no longer available.
2. Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension
A big change from the other DS titles, this is more action packed instead of explorative. It sees the brothers, Candace, Dr Doofenshmirtz and Agent P trying to get back to their world after having been trapped in an evil dimension - as in the events of the movie of the same name. You can switch control between Agent P, Phineas and Ferb at any time, each having different kinds of attacks to defeat the many robots sent against you. You travel through levels across five worlds, and can collect batteries which allow you to buy outfits.
This was definitely a graphical improvement over the first two games, however, it still has pretty generic music.
1. Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension
High Impact Games / Virtual Toys (PSP)
PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii
An action game taking place in the later portion of the movie of the same name, Phineas, Ferb, Candace, Doofenshmirtz and Agent P are traveling through dimensions and trying to get home. You can control Phineas, Ferb, Agent P, Agent T, Phineas-2 and Ferb-2, and have to choose two before each level, then fight your way through to the end. There are on-rails shooter sections and bosses to fight.
Graphically and gameplay-wise, all three versions are pretty much on-par, otherwise I’d have split them up. There is music from the franchise as well as voices, so it’s a pretty solid presentation.
So there’s my list. Six different titles from four seasons of TV and a movie isn’t bad, especially since some established franchises struggle to get one game.