Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius

Review: Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

Whether or not you've actually seen the Jimmy Neutron movie of some years ago, you can't have helped but notice the steady flurry of games dedicated to the 'boy genius'. Although this is his first appearance on the GameCube titles have appeared on almost every platform with varying degrees of success. As with all Nickelodeon related games, this title pushes itself on the fact that you like the character, indeed a recent survey indicated that the majority of gamers purchase a title like this without ever reading a review or knowing what the game is actually about. With that in mind there's a good chance that half of you already own this game but if you're still undecided read on...


Whilst the visuals faithfully represent Jimmy, his friends and the rather strange world they all inhabit they are far from what we know the GameCube is capable of. This is due to a combination of things so, while the various modules and environments are well designed and implemented; the textures are rather bland with the developers opting for a cartoon rather than a 'real' finish to the levels. It's not all bad though and some spot effects such as water, smoke and explosions help to bring some of the less inspiring areas of the game alive. The animation seems to follow suit so, apart from Jimmy, most of the other characters restrict their movements to the odd nod, eye blink or contrived head movement although this again is undoubtedly in keeping with the Saturday Morning Television look and feel. The highlight has to be the unlockable movie clips and Jimmy Neutron shorts which illustrate the quality of FMV the GameCube can store on its tiny disk as well as how good the original movie looked.


You'd expect great sound from a game that's previously been a big screen outing and thankfully there's little in the way of disappointment in the audio department. Everything's here, from the original score to voice samples and sound effects, providing a great sounding experience. There are no GameCube enhancements such as Dolby Surround but, given the game's intended audience, this omission is unlikely to cause much disappointment.


Playing as Jimmy Neutron your basic challenge throughout the game is to collect things. That's right - collect things. I can already see many readers thinking 'hang on, haven't I played this before?' and there's a good chance you have. Many developers are clearly sticking to the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' school of thought so here it is… The game is set in six large levels including Jimmy's house, Asteroids, Yolkus Underworld, Yolkus City and Retroland. Your screen will always indicate exactly what you must collect and you'll generally find the last piece just by the exit. It's also important to kick or hit (with the baseball bat) everything as some Yokians carry valuable power ups.

Some of the levels also contain puzzles although I can't give too much away as it may spoil your enjoyment. None of them are terribly difficult however and a quick survey of the area usually reveals the solution.

Outside of the 'collect em up' there are also some more unique touches, which help distract from the main game. Firstly there's your dog Goddard who has the ability to transform into a handful of very useful objects, which occasionally aid you to collect some of the more out of reach neutrons. These include a pogo stick, a scooter and a sled although deciding when they should be used is completely down to your skill and judgment. There's also a side scrolling 'retro' shoot'em up which is a more pleasant distraction from the main game and offers a reasonable challenge although with little reward. They tend to start off really easy with some of the ships releasing power ups but three or more hits mean you must restart with your basic weapon giving you little chance of success.


Initially the game is very playable with everything being laid out before you. Look too closely though and you may be a bit disappointed by the linear nature of the gameplay. Things become a little frustrating too when a misjudged jump means you plunge into darkness. This wouldn't be too bad in itself but some appear almost impossible and in addition to losing a life you're occasionally whisked back to the beginning of the level to restart the whole process all over again. This isn't entirely unusual for platformers as it's one of the many tactics developers use to extend the game play but it's still very irritating.


A: Jump.
B: Use Item/Kick.
X: Talk.
Y: Drop Item/Exit.
L: Not Used.
R: Not Used.
Z: Not Used.
C: Not Used.
D-Pad: Run.
Control Stick: Run.


Jimmy Neutron will take you anywhere between 12 to 16 hours to complete but the lack of any multiplayer facility means you're unlikely to revisit it. There are the various shorts and clips to show to your friends but any real fan of the show will probably own the video anyway.

Final Say:

Definitely one for the younger gamers (and by that I mean the under tens) and fans of the boy genius who'll no doubt find enough to entertain them. It all works reasonably well but it would be nice if the developers of TV/Movie tie-ins started to take a few more chances and maybe even come up with something original. It may be a tall order but you have to wonder just how much more life is left in the 3D generic platformer.

N-Europe Final Verdict

Enjoyable enough for the younger gamers, nothing older gamers havnt seen before.

  • Gameplay2
  • Playability3
  • Visuals2
  • Audio2
  • Lifespan4
Final Score



Unlockable Movie Clips
Intuitive Controls


A Little Repetitive
Fixed Camera Angles

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