Scooby-Doo has long been a favourite children’s cartoon, with over nine million DVDs sold to date.
Warner’s new adventure game, Scooby-Doo! First Frights, picks up its story from direct-to-DVD film Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins – which is to be released alongside the game.
Players take control of Scooby, Shaggy and the rest of the Mystery Machine gang. There are puzzles to solve, creepy environments to explore and freaky foes to fight. Players must discover clues to unmask devious villains and sample humorous moments, with voiceovers from the DVD cast.
The game gives players the chance to undertake the pesky kids’ first cases. The highlight of the title, and something that hasn’t appeared in Scooby-Doo games before, is two-player co-op with drop in/drop out gameplay. Characters can disguise themselves and gain new abilities to outwit the ghosts and ghouls that stork the night.
It’s made up of over 20 levels, including a phantom cruise ship, a high school filled with paranormal occupants, and – something no Scooby-Doo adventure should be complete without – a haunted castle.
Scooby offers gamers some paw-fisted action, while Shaggy has a yo-yo that doubles as a weapon and grappling hook. Collar-wearing clutz Fred can use his strength to position heavy objects, while geeky maiden Velma can tinker with technology.
In classic LEGO Star Wars-fashion, the game will also feature a free play mode. This will allow players to explore areas using any of the characters, costumes and items they’ve collected. Villians will also be selectable in this mode, plus previously inaccessible areas.
“Scooby-Doo is the number one selling property in Warner Bros’ consumer products portfolio so retailers should expect a huge amount of enthusiasm from the market for this title,” reveals Spencer Crossley, UK sales and marketing director at Warner Bros.
Scooby-Doo may be a household name, but evertheless, Warner Bros is plotting a campaign to cross-promote many of the upcoming products in the franchise.
Naturally, the publisher will be advertising the game heavily in children’s magazines. It will also be promoted in conjunction with the national live Scooby-Doo stage show and during the cartoon’s programming hours. They will also be advertising the game online via social networking sites and Google Earth.
In addition to a poster campaign and in-store POS, Warner Bros have the advantage of being a major DVD distributor. The company will be supplying printed Scooby-Doo inserts with their DVD releases as well as cross-promoting the game with their successful toy division.
A bespoke mailout will also be sent to addresses on the Scooby-Doo database.
“Previous Scooby-Doo games have performed really well on DS and PS2 but this is the first time he has appeared on the Wii,” adds Crossley. “This, combined with our ‘Year of Scooby-Doo’ promotion and our exceptional cross divisional activity with Warner Bros Consumer Products and Home Video divisions, means we fully expect Scooby-Doo to take over Halloween this year.”