Every child has a favourite movie. The one they see again and again. At the theater with a tub of popcorn. Sprawled on the floor at hom in front of the VCR and TV. Which one was it for you? Well, for millions of kids it's Twentieth Century Fox's Once Upon a Forest.Now, thanks to the magic of Sanctuary Woods multimedia, your child can do what you only dreamed of; jump through the screen of a classic movie and become part of the action.But this is really more than a movie. It's an adventure game brought to life with exciting animation, sound effects and music. And your child is the star.Will the trio of furlings win a race against time to save their sick friend? It's up to the kids who play Once Upon a Forest as they join Abigail, Russell and Edgar on a rousing hourney through Dapplewood Forest.
~ from the back of the box
Theatregoers in 1993 had the option to see one of the twee-est of animated movies there ever was - Once Upon a Forest. As a child, I always saw it as Ferngully without the fantasy. Had Twentieth Century Fox not had a hand in both of them, I'd have thought this was another Antz/A Bug's Life situation going on. Man is destroying a forest. Tiny critters save it. One of them tries to be funny. Adequate family fun.
That can describe the movie tie-in too; adequate. To be fair, Sanctuary Woods were aiming for a young target audience, but it is still a little lacklustre. Graphics are low resolution and pixelated, taking away from the animated aesthetic. Sound is compressed and raspy, with some voice work struggling to be understood. Disappointing.
All of this could be because it was released in 1995 - two years after the movie - and it feels incredibly behind the times from a technological standpoint. I would hazard a guess that it was supposed to be out in conjunction with the film but got delayed for whatever reason. It could've easily stood tall amongst its peers back then. However, that didn't happen. Sanctuary Woods could've done better - that same company in that same year put out the incredible The Riddle of Master Lu, so it's not like they don't have the talent.
As for the gameplay itself? Well, I'm sure kids of the era would have liked it. It is simple, short and easy with inventory items being automatically used and puzzles automatically solved. The real challenge is finding items among a mass of pixels, but I rarely had a problem. I solved it in little under an hour.
You probably know if this is for you before you play it. If you like the movie or others like it, you're sure to have a good time. If you're like me and would like to relive childhood memories of better films, you're best served elsewhere.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox to bring the game to modern systems. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 10.5 Mb. Install Size: 15.5 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Once Upon a Forest (the game) is © Sactuary Woods
Once Upon a Forest (the movie) is © Twentieth Century Fox
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me